Invest Atlanta looking into assisting businesses impacted by I-85 collapse
The collapse and ensuing construction on the I-85 bridge in Midtown Atlanta has sent a flood of extra vehicles spilling onto neighboring side streets. But now, business along those busier routes are feeling the impact of all that extra traffic.
"Nobody wants to go out, they're afraid of the traffic," said manager of Johnny's Pizza David Rucker. His store is on Cheshire Bridge Road, one of the few routes offering a way around the I-85 collapse. "All day, it was bumper-to-bumper because this is major conduit from Downtown to Buckhead."
He says even delivery drivers have gotten caught in the higher surface traffic.
It's the same story at Roxx Food & Spirits, Rhodes Bakery and a local dry cleaners store. All reported fewer customers than normal.
While Georgia Department of Transportation officials estimate that repairs to I-85 will be complete by June, businesses are looking for relief. Now, they may have some.
According to Invest Atlanta, the group has begun contacting businesses in the area to determine how road closures are affecting them. They are also looking into funding programs that may be able to help businesses stay afloat.
In a statement to 11Alive, the Atlanta development authority said the outreach would "enable us to better identify how our programs and funding tools may be applied in response to this incident."
Businesses who would like more information about the outreach program can contact Invest Atlanta by using at firstname.lastname@example.org.