EMERSON, Ga. -- A film crew obstructed I-75 Wednesday with the informal approval of the Georgia Department of Transportation. A spokeswoman says no permit was required because traffic was "paced" and never fully blocked.
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Local police and sheriff's deputies sent squad cars onto the highway to slow traffic -- over and over again -- to clear a path on the highway for a scene in a movie called "Need for Speed." The work took place most of the afternoon.
"It probably set us back maybe thirty to thirty five, maybe forty minutes," said Amber Grigley, an 11 Alive intern who happened to get caught in the traffic Wednesday afternoon.
In a state growing accustomed to the movie industry's occasional interruptions of daily life, this one stood out. It happened on an interstate highway that carries more than ten thousand vehicles per hour through Atlanta, according to federal highway data. It overlapped with the fringe of Atlanta's afternoon rush hour.
A state DOT statement says "We realize that some motorists were impacted yesterday by delays from the traffic pacing." It says the state is developing a "framework for a statewide policy on how best to accommodate the film industry with the least impact to motorists."
Governor Deal called it a balancing act -- and Wednesday's shoot, a potential learning experience.
"It's never a good thing to have traffic interrupted," Deal said. "I'm sure that they will use that as an illustration as perhaps-- if there's a better time or another time for the filming of it, that would be less disruptive, I feel sure they will take that into account."
But Deal stressed that Georgia has benefited from its film-friendliness -- despite the occasional high-profile hiccup.