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Posted: April 17, 2017

Buckled roadway closes interstate near Atlanta

April 17, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia - Crews assess the damage done to I-20 WB after the road buckled in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17, 2017. On the morning of April 17th a section of I-20 WB near the Gresham Road exit buckled. According to Dekalb County Fire Department PIO Eric Jackson there were private contractors working on a gas pipe running underneath the interstate. The private contractors were filling the pipe with cement when pressure started building up. According to Jackson the buckle acted as a pressure release valve. According to WSB-TV, they were told the rise of concrete was gradual and not sudden. In addition to all west bound lanes being closed while crews assess the situation, a motorcyclist may have crashed after running into the buckle, the driver of the motorcycle was taken to a local area hospital. (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)
Henry P. Taylor/Henry Taylor / AJC
April 17, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia - Crews assess the damage done to I-20 WB after the road buckled in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17, 2017. On the morning of April 17th a section of I-20 WB near the Gresham Road exit buckled. According to Dekalb County Fire Department PIO Eric Jackson there were private contractors working on a gas pipe running underneath the interstate. The private contractors were filling the pipe with cement when pressure started building up. According to Jackson the buckle acted as a pressure release valve. According to WSB-TV, they were told the rise of concrete was gradual and not sudden. In addition to all west bound lanes being closed while crews assess the situation, a motorcyclist may have crashed after running into the buckle, the driver of the motorcycle was taken to a local area hospital. (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)

By Ellen Eldridge and Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

All lanes on a stretch of Interstate 20 West in DeKalb County, Georgia, were closed Monday after the highway buckled, police said.

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The lanes between Candler and Gresham roads were closed about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Two to three lanes should be open by 5 p.m. Monday, Georgia Department of Transportation officials said, but the damage isn’t expected to be repaired until noon Tuesday.

GDOT and police are working to determine the cause of the roadway failure.

“Work was being performed in the area on behalf of Atlanta Gas Light,” said Melissa Clontz, a spokeswoman for the utility company.

Initially, the fire department thought the road failure was related to an underground gas leak. DeKalb police spokesman Maj. Stephen Fore said about 1:45 p.m. that there was no evidence of a leak.

Witness Greg Phillips saw a motorcyclist, who he said was going about 55 mph, crash when it happened.

“(The motorcycle) just fell in,” Phillips said. “It was like a dip.”

No cars hit the man who fell from his bike. The bike landed about 50 yards away.

“That’s a heck of a place in the road for this to happen,” Phillips said. “More work for the DOT.”

Phillips said more than 10 people rushed to help the man who fell from the motorcycle. Some of the people said they worked at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The biker had multiple fractures and his leg was likely broken, paramedic Dennis Pierre Charles said.

As he tried to help, Charles said he watched the bump in the road grow.

“The roadway just started getting higher and higher,” Charles said. “I’m not sure if something shifted underneath.”


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