[5:20 p.m.]: By this point, any delays on the Downtown Connector are thanks to the increase in volume during Wednesday’s evening commute, the Traffic Center reported. For more on the traffic around metro Atlanta on Wednesday, click here.
[2:57 p.m.]: The Downtown Connector has reopened following President Donald Trump’s departure from downtown, the Traffic Center reported. There are heavy southbound delays spanning into Midtown.
UPDATE [2:43 p.m.]: The Downtown Connector has closed again as President Donald Trump’s motorcade leaves downtown to head back to the Atlanta airport, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
ORIGINAL STORY: The president headed downtown to speak at a summit on the opioid crisis Wednesday afternoon, prompting road closures on one of the city’s busiest and notoriously troublesome interstates.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump touched down on Air Force One just after 12:45 p.m. at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. About 1:45 p.m., he took the stage at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit at the Hyatt Regency Hotel off Peachtree Street, which included a few thousand participants in the crowd.
Law enforcement officers escorted the presidential motorcade to the hotel northbound along I-85 and through the heart of the city on the Downtown Connector. Road closures began just after 1 p.m. as the convoy left the airport.
The Downtown Connector was shut down in both directions for about 20 minutes, and the ramps from I-20, I-75, I-85 and surface streets were also closed, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. The connector reopened at 1:19 p.m.
There are still delays along I-85 and I-75 starting back at Langford Parkway, the Traffic Center reported.
Even more delays are expected on surface streets surrounding the hotel. A planned protest is expected to march toward the Hyatt as Trump is set to arrive. Protesters have begun gathering at Woodruff Park.
Add in scheduled road closures for roadwork, and the afternoon drive could be hectic. Moreland Avenue is closed in both directions near McDonough Boulevard until 4 p.m., according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
A lane in both directions of Ponce de Leon Avenue at Monroe Drive is also blocked for construction until 4 p.m., according to GDOT. An eastbound lane of Donald Lee Holloway Parkway will be shut down near Elbridge Road during the same time period.
On the Southside, a northbound right lane of Jonesboro Road will be blocked near Macedonia Road until 4 p.m., GDOT said. And all lanes of Camp Creek Parkway will be shut down near Airport Drive until 4 p.m. as well.
Midtown drivers have had to deal with closures on a busy block of West Peachtree Street for days, and repairs continue Wednesday on a collapsed sewer main. The northbound lanes of West Peachtree Street are shut down between 3rd and 4th streets.
» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.
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