A portion of Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Georgia collapsed due to a fire under a bridge on Thursday. The fire, which was ignited by surplus non-combustible plastic materials from a Georgia Department of Transportation construction project, has been contained.
Atlanta Fire was dispatched to the fire site at 6:12 p.m. with crews arriving at 6:20 p.m.
The cause of the fire is unknown and the FBI has said that there is “no information” to suggest that the collapse is a criminal act of any sort, including terrorism.
No casualties have been reported, according to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
Governor Deal declared a state of emergency for Fulton County.
Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said the collapse was “as serious a transportation crisis as we could have.”
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, 700 feet of I-85 have been compromised and will need to be replaced in both directions. The department also said they currently have no timeline for repair. The U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated $10 million to help fund the beginning stages of repairs to the interstate.
MARTA will be offering extended public transit service at least through the weekend. GRTA is also offering expanded Xpress bus service that connects to MARTA, and rerouting bus routes that would have taken I-85 onto I-285 and I-75.
MARTA’s services are performing “extraordinarily well,” an agency representative said at a press conference Friday. The agency has seen a 25 percent surge in ridership, and an 80 percent increase in Breeze farecard sales.
According to GDOT, over 250,000 vehicles drive through that stretch of Interstate 85 daily.