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How will the I-85 overpass collapse affect match day traffic for Atlanta United?

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The club’s next home match is on April 30. Here’s how to get around the closure.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The I-85 overpass collapse has thrown a wrench into the already complicated Atlanta traffic picture. Commuters and travelers normally used to taking the heavily-used freeway have been forced to consider alternate routes - which means bigger trouble for surface streets and usually less-traveled roads.

Fortunately, Atlanta United fans haven’t had to deal with it on a match day. Yet. But the team’s next home match on April 30 will be here before you know it.

The good news? It might be business as usual for fans coming from south, east and west of town apart from any usual delays that strike the area. The people who will really feel the squeeze are those coming from the northeastern parts of metro Atlanta and beyond. Georgia’s transportation department has encouraged drivers approaching from outside the Perimeter to exit at I-285 West, then taking I-75 South to the Connector midtown Atlanta. Exit 250 would then be the best option to get to the Bobby Dodd Stadium parking areas. Another route to consider if you’re inside the Perimeter (like me) is to get off at exit 86, take the Buford Spring Connector south, and re-enter I-85 past the closure. Quick note: that whole part of town is going to be slammed (especially with construction vehicles on site and with just one lane being open), so patience is a virtue.

Of course, the best course of action for some fans may be to simply take MARTA. The closest stop to Bobby Dodd is North Avenue; if you’re approaching from the northern suburbs (400 corridor) or from Doraville and points northeast, simply hop on the Red or Gold Line to get to the station - no transfer necessary. However, if single tracking is in effect and you’re on the Red line, you’ll need to transfer to a Gold Line train at Lindbergh Center Station and take that the rest of the way (there will be an announcement over the intercom if this is the case).

Fortunately, transportation officials have announced that the overpass should be completed by June 30 as early as the end of May (take that with a large grain of salt). Atlanta United has five home matches between now and that date, so if you’re planning on attending, get a good route together and leave yourself plenty of time to get there.

For those in Atlanta, have you been able to find different routes to get past the closure? Feel free to share in the comments.