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Hundreds of thousands of people drive this stretch of Interstate 85 in Atlanta every day, but the morning after a portion of the highway collapsed in a massive fire, it looked like a ghost town.
USA TODAY

ATLANTA — In the wake of the collapse of a portion of a major highway in Atlanta, residents may have to rely on mass transit to get around.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency after a portion of Interstate 85 collapsed as a massive fire burned Thursday.

It’s unknown how long the stretch of highway will be closed, but Atlanta officials encouraged commuters to consider using the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, to get around.

Atlanta Mayor Kaseem Reed said city officials will look back to the 1996 Olympics’ plans to help determine the best way to handle the traffic situation in the coming weeks.

“We actually handled the Olympics very nicely in Atlanta and I really think that is the closest comparison from a traffic standpoint with what we’re going to be going through over the next four to six weeks,” Reed said.

Related:Interstate 85 collapses in massive fire in Atlanta

MARTA is providing additional services to accommodate the expected influx of passengers needing to navigate traffic congestion and delay,” MARTA spokesman Erik Burton said in a series of emails. “MARTA continues to work closely with our state and local partners to ensure that residents and visitors can safely reach their destinations.”

MARTA promised increased rail services and…