Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Atlanta I-85 fire fails to slow us down

Concerning flying anywhere, my contention is that the best time to do so is immediately following and incident concerning an airplane.

Why? Everyone at each carrier should be on heightened alert concerning their own craft and therefore paying more attention to detail as far as maintenance, safety and weather.

Based on that: What is the best time to drive through Atlanta?

How about the day after a major fire that causes part of the interstate to collapse and that part of the highway is closed down.

My wife and I were already planning a trip to Marietta, GA, just north of Atlanta, last weekend when we heard about the fire.

Some people have been arrested and charged with starting the fire under a section of the elevated Interstate 85 that resulted in a portion of the highway collapsing.

I know Thursday night and Friday morning was probably a mess in the city with people trying to find alternate ways to get to work and then get home.

Some schools closed. Some businesses told employees to stay home and try to tele-commute.

That was OK for them, but what about us.

Our options were to not take the trip, find another way around the city or roll the dice and travel the way we normally go.

Prior to heading toward Atlanta on Friday morning, I looked at maps and alternate routes.

We had done something like that before and ran into a lot of traffic and plenty of traffic lights.

I figured that the area around Atlanta was going to be crowded and it would take two, maybe three hours to do that.

We decided to roll the dice. 

Our normal route from Ocean Springs, MS is I-10 to Mobile; I-65 to Montgomery, AL, and then north on I-85 until we hit the Atlanta I-285 bypass. We then head east on I-285, go north on I-75 and travel along the combined I-75, I-85 corridor until it splits north of downtown.

We stay on I-75 up to Marietta.

All I can say is that we made the trip through Atlanta faster than usual.

Traffic at the time, around 5-6 p.m., was rather light. I guess a lot of people got off early and headed home by the time we arrived.

The only bottleneck was when we arrived at the point where the two interstates separate north of downtown, near the location where the fire had been.

I-85 was blocked off both north and southbound. The slowdown was when the I-85 lines were blocked off and people had to merge into the I-75 lanes.

After a momentary delay, although still on the move, we resumed full speed ahead to Marietta. The I-75, I-285 bypass intersection north of town was not that bad.

Having such good luck, we decided to retrace our route on Sunday as we headed back home.

Traffic was at a brisk pace and there was no backup.

But then again that was the weekend.

I guess Monday morning, commuters faced chaos once again as Atlanta tried to get back to the “new” normal.

Next post: April 11, 2017

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