You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

How a bridge collapse on Atlanta’s Perimeter would be worse than I-85


The closed segment of I-85 between just south of Ga. 400 is a major headache for Atlanta’s commuters and truckers. But a similar bridge collapse would’ve been more “crippling” to the region and Atlanta’s mighty logistics sector if it had happened on the Perimeter, according to a report this week by CBRE Research.

Metro Atlanta is a logistics hub for the Southeast and the nation, and warehousing has been one of the region’s hottest sectors, fueled in large part by the rise of e-commerce. The region also has a robust manufacturing sector and trucks are a vital way of getting product to market.

Freight traffic traveling through metro Atlanta is supposed to use I-285 as a bypass of the city. Toby Jorgensen, a senior analyst at CBRE Research, said that’s where the overwhelming majority of heavy trucks go.

The state Department of Transportation said it is targeting June 15 to reopen the I-85 bridge.

More vehicles will hit the Perimeter to get around the I-85 closure, Jorgensen said, and that’ll mean longer trip times for commuters and logistics firms alike.

But it could have been worse, he said.

CBRE, citing a study by INRIX, said the Atlanta area has the fourth worst traffic in the country. Then there’s the notorious Spaghetti Junction, where I-285 meets I-85 northeast of the city.

The CBRE report said that interchange has been called “the worst trucking bottleneck in the United States” by the American Transportation and Research Institute.

Atlanta also suffers the ignominy of having six other interchanges ranked among the Top 100 worst bottlenecks. Four of those, including Spaghetti Junction, are on the Perimeter.

If an incident jammed up the Perimeter for two months, those trucks would have to go somewhere.

The bigger test for many shippers will be local product delivery, Jorgensen said. UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service will have to adjust their routes. So will other shippers and service providers.

I-85 is a key route into the city for all sorts of suppliers, and surface streets will see heavier than normal congestion until the bridges at I-85 and Piedmont Road are reopened.

“The hardest part is the last-mile consumer and business delivery,” Jorgensen said.

Some consumers can avoid congestion by taking MARTA or telecommuting. But that’s not an option for businesses that must get product from Point A to Point B.

RELATED: Map: The I-85 bridge collapse, detours and road closures

The shutdown of I-85 will come at a cost to the region.

Last week, Kelly Frey, a vice president of product marketing for tech firm Telogis, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the unit cost per mile for shipping through the Atlanta area could go up in some cases by 10 percent to 20 percent.

Telogis, which is owned by Verizon, which provides way-finding technology for commercial truckers that works kind of like the popular smart phone app Waze.

Some of that cost will be eaten by the shippers, some of it will be passed along.

Consumers “won’t feel it immediately at the grocery store,” Frey said. “But somehow that (cost of) congestion will need to be absorbed.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Friends, family say goodbye to Lassiter High brothers killed in crash
Friends, family say goodbye to Lassiter High brothers killed in crash

The funerals for two brothers killed earlier this week take place Sunday afternoon at the Piedmont Church in Marietta. Services are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. for James Pratt, 18, and Joseph Pratt, 14. The Lassiter High School students were killed Monday when their car struck a school bus. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $69,000 for...
Torpy at Large: State may have left $$$ on table in Pullman site bids
Torpy at Large: State may have left $$$ on table in Pullman site bids

When the Georgia Building Authority put the old Pratt-Pullman train yards up for sale a few months ago, it was criticized for refusing to designate the century-old railroad buildings on the site as historic. In fact, the state fought off an attempt by the city of Atlanta to allow that designation. The common wisdom was the state wanted to sell ...
Karen Handel in ‘b-roll’ slip-up: ‘I wanted to bark at you the way I get barked at’

File this under “somewhat embarrassing but no scandal.’ We have developed a strange campaign system in which political candidates rely heavily on independent Super PACs, but under federal law cannot coordinate with them. And so it is a common practice for candidates to record massive amounts of video of themselves, smiling and looking earnest...
Backpage.com continues to attract prostitution business, police say
Backpage.com continues to attract prostitution business, police say

Backpage.com is still a marketplace for prostitution in metro Atlanta, according to a Channel 2 Action News investigation. When prostitution first migrated from streets to smart phones, both Craigslist and Backpage were under pressure to stop online adult advertising, Channel 2’s mark Winne reported. Craigslist stopped in 2010. Backpage pulled...
Cobb County restaurant inspection scores

Cobb County • Blue Sky Café, 600 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 93/A • New York Buffalo Wings, 340 Six Flags Drive, Austell. 100/A • Tasty China, 585 Franklin Gateway, Marietta. 77/C • Tio Bar & Grill, 2731 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna. 99/A • Wings 101, 998 Windy Hill Road, Smyrna. 98/A
More Stories