A section of Interstate 85 in Atlanta collapsed during rush-hour traffic on Thursday evening, thanks to a massive fire that burned for more than an hour, but fortunately no injuries have been reported. Traffic, on the other hand, will be a mess for the foreseeable future in already-congested Atlanta. I-85 carries 250,000 cars a day, and it's a major traffic artery for Atlanta as well as the South, said Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurray, and "this incident — make no bones about it — will have a tremendous impact on travel." The collapsed section really "puts a cork in the bottle," said Georgia State Patrol Commissioner Mark McDonough.
"This is about as serious a transportation crisis as we can imagine," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said, but the FBI agent on the scene says there is no evidence of terrorism. Capt. Mark Perry of the Georgia State Patrol similarly told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that terrorism isn't suspected, though the agency is still trying to figure out what caused the fire.
Gov. Nathan Deal (R) suggested that PVC material might have caught fire in a vehicle under the bridge. "I do not know why they did or what the source of their transport was," he said Thursday. "But those are questions that will hopefully be answered at least by tomorrow morning." There is no estimate for when the interstate will reopen.