ATLANTA — A section of westbound Interstate 20 in Atlanta is closed after a section of the roadway bulged up from the ground and launched a motorcycle rider into the air.
The DeKalb County Police initially said an underground gas leak caused the defect in the roadway in the southeast part of the city.
Fire officials later said crews were pumping concrete into old, abandoned gas lines under the freeway and there was some sort of malfunction that caused a buildup of air pressure.
The air pressure eventually caused the ground under the roadway to surge upward.
HOV lane I20 WB buckled between Flat Shoals & Gresham. DOT on scene assessing damage. Avoid area pic.twitter.com/gLkv4eRzSB
— DeKalb County Police Department (@DeKalbCountyPD) April 17, 2017
Officials with the DeKalb County Fire Rescue confirmed the driver of a motorcycle hit the huge bump and was launched into the air. Officials say the motorcycle came to a stop about 200 feet from the bulge in the highway.
The motorcycle rider was hospitalized in critical condition after the crash, fire officials said.
DCFR & DOT units are onscene of a large buckle in the HOV lane @ I20 WB & Gresham Rd. https://t.co/9w72GFEB4F
— Dekalb County Fire Rescue (@DCFRpubaffairs) April 17, 2017
Officials said the buckled highway is causing a traffic “nightmare” for westbound travelers.
Last month, Atlanta had another big problem on a different freeway when a massive fire caused a section of Interstate 85 to collapse.
Crews said that section of highway would be closed for months during repairs.