Guide to Atlanta Trade Shows Post I-85 Bridge Collapse

So you’re coming to Atlanta and the I-85 bridge just collapsed, what does that mean for you!? 

You have been planning a trade show in Atlanta for the past 6 months. Everything is going as smoothly as it possibly can – you’re in love with your booth design, you have your booth staff scheduled, and you’ve been a marketing machine for the show. You are into the final details and planning your freight and travel.

Then you see the news on March 30th that a major artery to the SouthEast’s infrastructure has collapsed….and it’s in the heart of Atlanta. You don’t need one more thing to worry about. What does this mean for you? Will it affect you?

The city announced that the bridge should be fixed by June 15th. Hopefully that is the case, but familiarize yourself with the alternate routes just in case it is delayed!

Getting to Atlanta

Flying Into Atlanta

Flying – The Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is on the south end of the city. Luckily, both the airport and the Georgia World Congress Center are south of where the I-85 bridge collapsed. There may be more traffic than normal, but you really shouldn’t be too affected.

A quick tip for flying into Atlanta (regardless of the bridge collapse) is to book flights that do not land at rush hour. Rush hour in Atlanta is anywhere from 7:30am – 9am and 4:00pm – 6:30pm. If you do this and you get a cab to your hotel you will be sitting in large amounts of traffic. If you do land during rush hour, we suggest using MARTA. MARTA has many stops close to the Georgia World Congress Center and the hotels in the area.

Driving – Driving into Atlanta is a little bit of a different story. If you can plan it, do not drive in during rush hour. The commuting times for Atlantans has doubled for anyone needing to go into and out of Atlanta. There are alternate routes, but those are getting backed up as well.

Coming from the South: No change in routes are needed. You can travel up I-85 North directly to the Georgia World Congress Center.

Coming from the North on I-85: There are many different back roads to get around the collapsed bridge, but the most straight forward way is going to be taking I-285 West to I-75 South when entering the city.

Coming from the North on I-75: No change in route needed. If traffic is backed up into the city you can get off at the Howell Mill Exit. This exit will take you to Marietta Street, which brings you to the GWCC.

Coming from the East or West on I-20: No changes needed.

Read more about alternative routes here.

Getting Around Atlanta


If you are staying near the Georgia World Congress Center than you really won’t have many problems getting around the area as there are many restaurants.

If you are staying somewhere else in the city or just want to get out around the town the safest bet is going to be using MARTA during prime hours. MARTA has many stops inside the city of Atlanta and should be a good alternative to driving. Find out more about MARTA routes by clicking here.