As of this writing, I-85 in Atlanta should be re-opened in less than two months. With a bevy of incentives to get this much-needed road repaired and in today’s terms, “placed by online,” things look good for Atlanta’s near future.
As expected, we are feeling the pain with having this road “offline” throughout spring 2017. There have been several incidents with accidents happening on the Buford-Spring Connector which is already handicapped with one southbound lane closed – to allow construction equipment some room to rebuild the I-85’s bridge.
Unfortunate episodes already occurred since the highway’s shutdown. One morning, a tanker carrying hazardous materials went sideways on Atlanta’s downtown connector -- a few miles south of where the bridge burned out – compounded the area’s uber-traffic woes. The salt was thrown on Atlanta’s traffic wound with a part of nearby I-20’s roadway which buckled one afternoon.
To top it all off, portions of I-85 is going through some major re-paving in the area.
On most days, I have been taking MARTA to avoid the I-85 fiasco, but there are certain weekend days when I drove into the bottleneck, expecting it to be a bit lighter. On Easter Sunday, I went right into the thick of the mess. For the most part, folks were courteous in allowing fellow motorists to merge. Allowing others to merge or zip in front or behind you is logical, but generally so much of the public resistant to the idea. When getting caught up in a traffic jam, too many motorists feel that allowing others to merge will put her or him behind in getting from Point A to Point B.
There are plenty of ways to get around the I-85 bridge collapse site. Using I-75, I-20 and I-285 all take motorists out of their way, but chances of getting into a jam are reduced – certainly not eliminated since traffic tie-ups are synonymous with the Atlanta metro area. Now, the best website is GetAround 85.com which contains a live traffic feed of the area. The radio traffic reports are okay, but do not give drivers a complete picture as to what is going on in the area.
I would say that driving into the I-85/Buford-Spring traffic jam put me behind about 20 minutes on that Sunday, but that’s a long 20 minutes in most motorists’ minds. Indeed, turning on calming music can help take one’s mind off the situation, but that method lasts for only so long. I suppose meditation or a massage can help, but that will most likely take one’s “eye off the prize” in getting to freeway freedom. Although, that providing massages to motorists caught in the jam isn’t such a bad business idea.