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Why the Hell Are Atlanta’s Freeways Exploding?

David Goldman/AP Images
David Goldman/AP Images

If you are ever in need of a good, cathartic cry, there are three things that always work:

  1. Watching the last scene of Imitation of Life
  2. Staring at the close-up of Donald Trump’s hair
  3. Driving in Atlanta during rush hour

When Inrix listed the cities around the globe with the worst traffic congestion, the traffic-data company ranked Atlanta as the ninth worst in the world (the world, Craig!). So it didn’t help when a huge section of Interstate 85, one of the interstates that bisect the city, collapsed last month. It brought the city’s already turtle-paced traffic to a virtual halt.


ATLiens gave city officials an even larger dose of side eye when they tried to say that the raging fire that caused the collapse was started by—wait for it—someone smoking crack under the bridge. No, for real. I know it sounds like a late-night Trump tweet, but that’s actually the story they are sticking with.


Now, on Monday, the other freeway, Interstate 20, that crosses the city buckled because of what they say was a chemical spill, but from the pictures, it looks as if either the Hulk was in the ATL and heard Lil Uzi Vert’s lyrics, or something is trying to escape from the depths of hell. Maybe one of Trump’s relatives wants him to come back home. That section of the I-20 is in downtown Atlanta, so if you’re working in the city’s center, it might be faster to walk home today.

The exploding highways highlight the country’s need to address infrastructure concerns, but apparently, the president is too busy turning up at Mar-a-Lago to care about ATL’s roads, bridges and underpasses. If he really wanted to fix some of the city’s crumbling roads and bridges, Republicans would set aside funds for infrastructure, or at least talk to some of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I’m sure they know someone who can do a quick reconstruction.

Although the traffic situation has concerned many Atlanta residents, there is no truth to the rumors that members of the Atlanta Falcons, who blew a 25-point halftime lead in the Super Bowl, saw the collapse and said, “It doesn’t look that bad to me.”

At least they didn’t blame it on a homeless person trying to fire up a blunt.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

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I just want to point out that 85 and 20 are maintained by the state and not the city. But also ... it’s still too damn soon for these Falcons jokes.