ATLANTA – Three people are in custody after a fire that led to the Interstate 85 bridge collapse in Atlanta, according to several media outlets.
Citing the state fire marshal’s office, WSB-TV reports that one man has been charged with criminal damage to property and two others with criminal trespass.
Drivers in one of the nation’s most congested cities faced a jarring new reality Friday as they were forced to game out how to get around a collapsed portion of Atlanta’s Interstate 85 — one of the Southeast’s major north-south arteries.
A mysterious fire collapsed part of I-85 northbound Thursday evening — injuring no one — and also damaged the southbound portion, forcing the closure of all five lanes in each direction for the foreseeable future.
The shutdown likely sets the city up for traffic headaches for months after creating navigation hell Thursday with jams that extended five miles or more and stranded motorists for hours.
The closure comes at a sensitive time for a city accustomed to gridlock — with hordes of spring break vacationers poised to drive though the regional hub and the Atlanta Braves set to play a preseason game Friday night in their new stadium northwest of the city.
“I think it’s as serious a transportation crisis as we could have,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday evening.
CNN contributed to this report.