Construction jams up I-85 near N. Druid Hills


Extreme delays on I-85 south near North Druid Hills and Cheshire Bridge roads this weekend.

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Transportation warned drivers about extreme traffic on Interstate 85, but many drivers said they didn't know just how bad extreme could be.

A lot of people were trying to get into downtown Atlanta Saturday afternoon. While traffic along the Downtown Connector was moving, it took several southbound drivers hours to get into the city.

I-85 southbound around the North Druid Hills exit looked like a parking lot due to road construction at the Ga. 400/Interstate 85 interchange in northeast Atlanta.

Ken and Terri Young caught a glimpse of it and told Channel 2's Ashley Swann they immediately turned around.

"When we got off up there at Druid Hills, they wouldn't even let you on southbound," said Ken Young.

Drivers stuck in the mess called Channel 2 Action News throughout the day to report the painful crawl. With as many as three lanes shut down, some said it took as long as an hour to move a single mile.

"My sister told me, 'If you don't (have) to get in it, don't get in it.' But we (were) already in it," Donna Myers said.

Adding to people's frustrations, an Atlanta Braves games was played that some feared they'd miss due to the backup.

"If I was going to the Braves game, somebody (would) have to give me another ticket for another game or something," Myers said.

Myers said she understands the pressure on the DOT to complete these interstate projects, but feels enough is enough.

"Why not do it at night when people are sleeping? It's less traffic, you know? It's too hot for this. Gas is too high. Come on, give us a break," she said.

A DOT representative said they tried to urge drivers to avoid I-85 south, as workers are setting up beams across the interstate. He hopes crews will have this portion of the project done by Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, up to two lanes will be closed on the northbound Buford-Spring Connector for weekend construction.

Officials said up to two lanes will be closed in both directions in several locations on Interstate 285 on the north and west sides of Atlanta for striping and concrete slab work. Roadwork on I-285 is expected to have minimal impact on traffic, officials said.

Additionally, the right southbound lane will be closed on Interstate 75 at Northside Drive for sign upgrades.

Click here for information on real-time statewide construction updates.

Stay with Channel 2 Action News and for continued coverage of weekend traffic delays across metro Atlanta. Download the Triple Team Traffic app by searching "WSBTV" in the iPhone app store or listen to 95.5FM/AM750 WSB.

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