ATLANTA — Because of the collapse along Interstate 85, you are going to need to rethink your way into Atlanta if you normally take that way into the city.
The interstate collapse could impact traffic for weeks or months to come.
Right now, Interstate 85 northbound is shut down for an undetermined amount of time. Parts of Piedmont Road and the Buford Spring Connector are closed as well
Over the weekend, the Georgia Department of Transportation reopened the Buford Highway exit (also known as Exit 86, the Buford-Spring Connector, and Ga. 13). That’s the first exit on I-85 north of the Downtown Connector split.
Part of Piedmont Road reopened Monday early afternoon, but GDOT says it will open and re-close in the coming days as they work to repair the bridge.
You may now go north on I-85 from downtown, but you’ll be forced to exit at the Buford-Spring Connector. You can then follow that connector north toward Sidney Marcus Boulevard, where you’ll be directed to the entrance to I-85 North, and you’re back in business.
If you’re going up the Buford-Spring Connector with the intention of turning left onto Sidney Marcus (toward Ga. 400 and Piedmont), you’re in for a wait. Traffic coming down Buford Highway from the opposite direction is being diverted onto Sidney Marcus — Buford Highway beyond that point is closed.
If you’re heading north on the Downtown Connector drivers can take I-75 beginning at 17th street.
On I-75 southbound there is no access to the northbound Interstate 85 lanes, so plan on another route.
If you're headed south on Georgia 400 into Buckhead you will have to exit at Lenox Road and then take surface streets.
"This incident, make no bones about it, will have a tremendous impact on travel," Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry said Thursday evening.
Alternates through the Brookhaven and N. Druid Hills areas are Peachtree Road, Briarcliff Road, & N. Druid Hills Road. If you prefer to stick with interstates, take I-85/sb from Gwinnett County to I-285 south or east at Spaghetti Junction. Stay with that, and use I-20/wb into Downtown Atlanta.
I-285 westbound (the Outer Loop) is good across to north side to get to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
If you are heading into the city from I-85 south, you will be detoured onto I-285. Transportation officials want commuters to utilize I-20 and I-75 to get into the downtown and midtown areas.
"We encourage people to telework, stay at home or use public transit," said Chris Thomason with GDOT.
GDOT said the I-85 HOT lanes heading south starting at 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. Friday will be operating in and HOV 3 only mode.
"The lane will be open to those vehicles with three or more passengers, or public transit," Thomason said.
Transportation officials said the Sugarloaf and Hamilton Mill park-and-ride areas will have additional service to provide connectivity to the Doraville MARTA station for people to use the MARTA rail service.
Cox Media Group