If you didn't see the black smoke billowing from midtown Atlanta yesterday during rush hour (it could be seen all the way from Exit 6 on Ga. 400) or have to drive in the city, a portion of the I-85 northbound bridge collapsed under the intense heat of a fire Thursday.
No one was injured in the blaze that melted the highway and licked the southbound bridge, too, but traffic will certainly be affected for some time to come.
The fire came from construction materials that were stored under the bridge in right of way owned by the state. There has been no word yet on how it started.
We know many Forsyth County residents work in Atlanta, so here are the top 5 things to know about the bridge collapse:
1. Though the collapse itself was only at the Piedmont Road overpass where the Buford/Spring connector exits at Monroe, both directions of 85 are shut down from the I-75/Brookwood split to the North Druid Hills exit.
2. Anyone who takes Ga. 400 south to work will have to get off at the Sidney Marcus exit. Anyone taking 85 south to get to work will be diverted to Ga. 400 northbound.
3. I-285 and I-20 are both open, and the Georgia Department of Transportation is encouraging people to take those routes, carpool and plan ahead by using any maps or way-finding website or mobile app.
4. Spring break traffic starts today. Plan ahead if your trips takes you to Florida or anywhere that involved passing through Atlanta on your way out. The first Braves game is also tonight at 7:30 p.m., which will certainly not help traffic.
5. The EPA has warned anyone with health and respiratory issues to stay away from the area, as the smoke, while not toxic, is not safe to inhale.