Gov. Deal declares state of emergency following I-85 fire, colla - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Deal declares state of emergency following I-85 fire, collapse

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Photo courtesy of 11 Alive News. Photo courtesy of 11 Alive News.
Updated Detour visual: Piedmont Road from Cheshire Bridge Road to Sidney Marcus Blvd. Updated Detour visual: Piedmont Road from Cheshire Bridge Road to Sidney Marcus Blvd.
ATLANTA (NBC) -

UPDATE: (WXIA) - Part of an Interstate 85 bridge in Atlanta collapsed Thursday night after a massive fire. Here's what we know so far.

What happened? Flames began erupting around 6 p.m. under northbound lanes of I-85 near Piedmont Road. Smoke could be seen from miles as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. After 7 p.m., a portion of the overpass collapsed, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Were there any injuries? There have been no reports of injuries, Atlanta Fire and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said.

What caused the fire? The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, according to Atlanta Fire Sgt. Cortez Stafford

Is the fire contained? As of 9:41 p.m., Stafford said that the fire had been contained. Crews continue to battle hotspots. 

When will the bridge be fixed? It's not yet known how long it will take for crews to repair the bridge.

How many people travel over that stretch of I-85 each day? About 220,000 people drive over that section of the interstate each day, according to Georgia Department of Transportation. 

What roads are closed? All lanes of I-85 north and south are closed from the Downtown Connector to Georgia 400, according to GDOT. Traffic on GA 400 south is being diverted onto exit 2/Lenox Road. Traffic on I-85 South is being diverted onto exit 86 GA 400 North. Lanes are expected to remain closed indefinitely.

How will I get to work tomorrow? The full extent of which roads and how traffic will be impacted by the interstate collapse is not yet known, but it's sure to cause numerous headaches. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has urged drivers to avoid the area if at all possible. Here are some possible alternate routes you can take. Plus, be sure to check our traffic maps and cameras.

Read more at WXIA's website.

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