Channel 2's Aaron Diamant was at the stadium looking into the massive preparation efforts underway.

Major emergency preparedness exercise to take place at MARTA station

MARTA’s police department will hold a major emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, in preparation for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl. 

The full-scale exercise at the Dome / GWCC / Philips Arena / CNN Center Station near Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena will simulate a crisis scenario with explosions, smoke and actors to help create a realistic setting for first responders, according to MARTA. The FBI, TSA, Atlanta Police Department and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are scheduled to take part in the exercise.

The event will interrupt train service on the east and westbound Green and Blue lines beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 27. Riders will be directed to exit at the Vine City or Five Points stations and board a MARTA bus that will take them to the next available station.

People within a five-mile radius of the Dome Station may hear loud noises and see heavy police activity during the event, which runs until 4 a.m. MARTA officials are contacting local businesses and residents to minimize confusion and alarm.

“Our planning process for the Super Bowl started several years ago,” said MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham. “We have held numerous table-top exercises, but this full-scale exercise will showcase our capabilities and assist us in identifying any gaps.” 

General Manger and CEO Jeffrey Parker called MARTA “one of the safest transit systems in the country because of training exercises such as this one.” 

Due to the exercise, the following roads will be closed to traffic on Oct. 27 until 4:00 a.m.:

• State Farm Drive (formerly Philips Dr.) and parking lot. Closure begins at 11 p.m.

• Andrew Young International Boulevard lane closures begin at 10 p.m.

• Portion of curbside lane in front of State Farm Arena on Centennial Olympic Park Drive closure begins at 10 p.m.

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READ | Atlanta Super Bowl: How MARTA’s preparing to handle the massive crowds

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