Fire closes part of northeast Atlanta road ‘until further notice’ after damaging bridge

ATLANTA — Structural engineers from the Georgia DOT and Atlanta DOT are inspecting a bridge on Cheshire Bridge Road in Northeast Atlanta following a massive fire overnight, that scorched the underside and railings of the aging bridge.

“I looked out the window and I just saw the thick black smoke and flames coming from underneath the bridge so I immediately called 911 and it was just craziness, craziness,” neighbor Alex Hines told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.

The fire started around 1 a.m. in a homeless encampment under the bridge. It took firefighters nearly an hour to put it out. The bridge crosses over a railroad line.

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“It could have been catastrophic had this bridge caught fire and collapsed and derailed a train. Who knows what else could have happened?” local businessman Stephen McBride said.

McBride owns a limo service and uses the road regularly.

He told Channel 2 Action News that he’d contacted the city of Atlanta and CSX Railroad to express his concerns about fire risks with a homeless encampment under the bridge.


“They advised me that they were going to do something about this a few months ago, namely clean out the encampment and fence the area off. This is an aging bridge and this happened as I predicted it would happen,” McBride said.

Atlanta’s Department of Transportation said the bridge and a portion of Cheshire Bridge Road between Faulkner Road and Wellbourne would remain closed until further notice.

Officials are working to determine if the bridge is safe for traffic and what, if any, repairs need to be made to ensure it’s structurally sound.

In August 2021, a fire caused by a ruptured gas main severely damaged another bridge on Cheshire Bridge Road. It took over a year to build a new bridge. During that time, many businesses on the road suffered significant financial losses.

“This is going to be a nightmare again.,” Hines said.

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