The Georgia Department of Transportation says that work crews will clear drains on the Downtown Connector before and after storms this week to prevent another interstate shutdown like the one that occurred Sunday afternoon.
Drainage systems on the Downtown Connector were overwhelmed by an extremely strong system on Sunday that washed an inordinate amount of debris into the drains, clogging them and causing the roadway to flood.
HERO units that were dispatched to clear the clogs reported that the debris included yard signs, leaves and small tree limbs felled by approximately 50 mph winds.
The flood prompted the closure of I-75/I-85 for about 45 minutes early Sunday afternoon. Work crews had last cleared the drains a few days earlier on Thursday, and they were back out again on Monday, said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.
“Our crews clear about once a week on a non-storm intensive week,” Dale said. “This week, they will increase rounds to before and after significant storm events.”
Dale warned that signs such as real estate signs, political signs and moving signs are illegal on state-owned property adjacent to the roads. It’s considered litter and can quickly become debris during a strong storm system.
GDOT will continue to monitor drains and litter on the shoulders of the interstate before and after the storm systems that are expected throughout the week, she said.