Highway Mayhem in Atlanta Complicates Life for Students



The 85 highway collapse has wrecked havoc on Atlanta traffic.

Atlantans have not seen the end of random disasters, it seems, nor will we ever. A mere few weeks following the collapse of an I-85 overpass near the Connector because of a fire set by a homeless crackhead, the saga of Atlanta’s traffic issues continues with a horrible new development: a portion of the horizontal highway I-20 buckled on April 17.

Officials said the cause was an underground gas leak, which sounds worrying enough, but will hopefully be contained quickly. With another major thoroughfare already out of commission, though, or at least hindered, most people are worrying about this highway’s closed lanes’ inevitable disastrous effect on traffic, and rightly so. The Atlanta metropolitan area sees countless commuters every weekday, morning and evening. For those coming in from the west, traffic just took a turn from the horrible to the very horrible. And for those in the city, a ripple effect, already a delicate balance from the other crash, has begun in earnest.

“The bus is going to be even later now,” said Kennedy Scruggs, a sophomore all too familiar with the bag search line in the mornings which get more crowded with traffic.

“I don’t even know when I’ll get anywhere anymore,” said another sophomore, Sarah Pearl, “and this includes my house, my practice, or anything.”

This disaster could mean lost jobs, late student drivers, a spike in wrecks, and much worse. At least with the I-85 overpass fire and collapse, no one died. Hopefully, no one will in this case, either, but a motorcyclist is now in critical condition after being thrown several feet.

What began the gas leak? And why does the city seem to have such nasty luck? From the infamous “Snowpocalypse” of January 2014 to the present day, it’s abundantly clear that Atlanta’s infrastructure needs to be fixed. It’s unfortunate that a large portion of the city budget was spent on a fancy stadium than perhaps fixing some of these problems – and unknown future ones – before they became logistical fiascos, and potentially fatal ones at that.