ATLANTA — President Trump is headed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this afternoon to visit the agency mounting the government's response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Most immediately for Atlantans, that means one thing: traffic.
Roads will be closing as the president travels from Dobbins Air Base, where Air Force One will land and drop him off, to the CDC near Emory University.
Here's what to watch out for:
- I-75 South after 3 p.m.: The president is set to land sometime after 3 p.m. He'll almost certainly begin traveling south along I-75 from there. If you're supposed to be heading into the city from up that way around that time, really try to do so before 3 p.m. If you can't, your best alternative bet will be Cobb Parkway or Atlanta Road/Marietta Boulevard.
- Delk Road: To get to I-75 from Dobbins, the president's motorcade will need to cross Delk Road over a short distance. It will very likely be closed for some period during that time.
- Getting to the CDC: Once the president travels into Atlanta, there's really only one simple route that keeps the motorcade from winding through a bunch of surface streets: Swinging back up to I-85 North as they reach the Downtown Connector, exiting onto North Druid Hills Road, then turning south onto Briarcliff Road, which eventually turns into Clifton Road and leads into the CDC campus.
- If you're on the wrong side of Briarcliff and need to get to I-85 around that time, you're going to be in trouble, so plan ahead. After the road closes, Clairmont Road will probably be the only option for getting up and around back to I-85.
- The other option: It seems unlikely the presidential motorcade would go this way, but just keep in mind the best alternate route would be to continue onto the Downtown Connector and through I-75/85 South, getting off at Freedom Parkway and taking that to Ponce De Leon Avenue before turning onto Briarcliff to head toward Clifton from the south.
- Leaving: Air Force One is expected to depart Dobbins to take the president on his way to Florida for the weekend near 6 p.m. That will likely stop interstates during the prime rush hour.
- I-85 South: Again, the simplest thing to do would be to go back up Clifton, to Briarcliff, to North Druid Hills Road and onto I-85 South. If you're supposed to commute along there at that time, try Buford Highway as an alternate.
- I-75 North: This will be the true nightmare for commuters who come into Atlanta from Cobb County. The president would likely turn northward onto I-75 sometime between 5:30 and 6, so definitely, definitely plan ahead. Your alternates aren't awesome but include taking Northside Drive/Parkway to Cobb Parkway or Marietta Blvd/Atlanta Road.
- Delk Road: Once again, coming back, Trump's motorcade will likely exit at Delk Road and take it back over to Dobbins, so expect that to be closed.
- The other option: There is a chance - probably an extremely small chance - the president will not take I-85 back. That would involve turning off Clifton past the CDC campus onto Johnson Road, taking that to Cumberland Road, swinging onto Monroe Drive, turning back down Piedmont, and then turning off Piedmont onto a series of surface streets before getting back to 17th Street, to Spring Street, to 16th Street and onto I-75 North direct. (The president is not going to take this route.)
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