President, Vice President's Atlanta trip causes roadblocks, Friday traffic mess

ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta traffic was a beast on Friday after a visit from the president and vice president.

President Donald Trump arrived just after noon Friday at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta to attend planned events in Buckhead and downtown Atlanta. Vice President Mike Pence arrived about two hours later.

Road closures lasted throughout the day as the presidential motorcades moved around the city.

The first event, a high-dollar fundraiser to support U.S. Sen. David Perdue, began at 10 a.m. at an undisclosed location in Buckhead. The president launched the Black Voices for Trump Coalition initiative at 3 p.m. downtown where the vice president will also speak.

  • There were rolling road closures along I-75, I-285, GA 400 as the motorcades traveled between Dobbins and downtown
  • I-75 was closed between Buckhead and Downtown Atlanta when they traveled between Buckhead and the GWCC
  • I-75/85 was closed at least once during the start of the Friday rush hour, and then again as the motorcades left.
  • Side streets near the Georgia World Congress Center and the highway was also closed.
  • The vice president leaves Dobbins before the president so expect gridlock on I-75 north in two waves.
  • Both Air Force One and Air Force Two were gone by 5 p.m.

[READ MORE: President Trump arrives in Atlanta to launch black voter initiative]

“The Georgia State Patrol gets ahead of that and does a rolling road closure for his motorcade to go through.", Triple Team Traffic reporter Ashley Frasca said.

“The bull’s-eye is on the Downtown Connector,” Frasca said. “I-75/85 north- and southbound will be impacted just at the beginning of the afternoon rush hour, so that’s going to be a mess. Folks need to avoid downtown.”


In all, there were four to six different periods of road closures over several hours Friday, traffic reporter Doug Turnbull said. Travel inside I-285 was especially rough from the lunch hour through the afternoon drive.

“This confluence of dual motorcades and the normal Friday grind makes this Friday a great day to telework or take MARTA,” he said.

Chelsea Prince, with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this story.