ATLANTA (AP) — The latest on commuters facing traffic challenge after fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge. (all times local):
Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry says his department will be evaluating “all things” including its storage policies, after the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.
Authorities said the fire was started by a man under the bridge in an area north of downtown Atlanta where the state stores noncombustible construction materials. The blaze grew rapidly.
Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation Russell McMurry said Monday that his agency “will be looking at all things to make sure that we never have a catastrophic event like this again.”
McMurry says he also sent a letter to an association of states’ transportation departments about the suspected cause of the blaze. McMurry says he wanted other agencies to have the information and decide whether to review their storage procedures.
Georgia’s governor is promising financial help from the state to transit agencies seeing increased ridership following the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.
Gov. Nathan Deal and the state’s top transportation officials on Monday gave no indication of a timeline to reopen the interstate.
Deal said he’s asking federal authorities to waive various regulations during the repairs. The state also hopes to use financial incentives for private contractors and state employees working on bridge repairs.
Deal says both strategies could speed up completion of the bridge.
In addition to anticipated state money for packed transit agencies, Deal said he’s asked federal officials for financial help.
In the meantime, Deal said state employees are being urged to work from home or use transit. Deal says private companies should follow the state’s lead.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority officials say the agency saw a substantial jump in ridership Monday, days after the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.
MARTA chief communications officer Goldie Taylor says there was an increase in ridership of between 50 to 73 percent on the north end of their transit lines during rush hour. The bridge collapsed Thursday on Interstate 85 just north of downtown Atlanta.
Taylor says trains are running every 7-8 minutes during the rush hour periods.
Since Friday, MARTA officials say they have experienced an overall increase of 20 percent.
Crews continued working around the clock to remove scorched debris from the collapsed bridge.
Atlanta companies such as Coca-Cola are encouraging workers whose commute is impacted by the bridge collapse to use the transit systems.
Coca-Cola officials said the company is asking associates who live in the northern suburbs to plan to use MARTA, Gwinnett County Transit and CobbLinc. The company will offer associates a $50 subsidy for those three transits and provide a free 10-trip pass.
Authorities say one person has died in a multiple-vehicle wreck on an interstate in Atlanta.
Local news outlets report the Georgia Department of Transportation officials said at least four vehicles were involved in the wreck as one car caught fire heading westbound on Interstate 20 that left three lanes blocked Monday around 5 a.m.
The wreck caused more troubles for commuters in the Southeast’s largest city as I-20 is being used as one of the main routes around the bridge collapse of Interstate 85 that occurred late last week.
The three lanes on I-20 were blocked for several hours, but have been reopened.
GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale says the agency adjusted the timing of lights to accommodate the extra traffic.
The name of the person who died in the accident wasn’t immediately released.
Traffic appeared light Monday morning around 6 a.m. as the first full workweek opens since the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.
Crews continued working around the clock to remove scorched debris from the collapsed bridge weakened by a fierce blaze on Thursday. A portion of Interstate 85 is still closed and commuters were redirected to take alternate route to bypass the wrecked area.
Fewer cars are expected to be on the road than usual because spring break for all metro Atlanta public schools began Monday.
The bridge is the key link to some of the city’s biggest suburbs. It carries about 400,000 vehicles a day in a city.
Officials pledged after Thursday’s collapse of a 350-foot section of Interstate 85 that a replacement bridge would be built as soon as possible, but could it take months.
Commuters are bracing for big rush hour traffic jams and delays at the start of their first full work week since the fiery collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge.
The Southeast’s largest city is facing a tough test starting Monday as crews remove a crumpled span of Interstate 85 that collapsed in a fierce fire late last week.
Officials pledged after Thursday’s collapse of the 350-foot section of bridge that a replacement bridge would be built as soon as possible, but that could take months. The bridge is the key link to some of the city’s biggest suburbs.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority says additional services will be provided Monday.
Authorities say the fire was started by a man smoking crack under the bridge in an area north of downtown Atlanta.
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