UPDATE APRIL 1, 2017, 7:56AM:Three people were arrested Friday in connection with a raging fire that collapsed an elevated portion of Interstate 85 in Atlanta and shut down the heavily traveled route through the heart of the city.
Officials said one suspect faces a charge of criminal damage to property, and two others were charged with criminal trespass. The motive behind the fire is still unclear, but officials said those details would be released as the investigation progresses.
A Georgia Transportation Commissioner said 350 feet of highway will need to be replaced in both directions on I-85, which carries about 400,000 cars a day through the city and is one of the South's most important north-south routes.
He said repairs will take months but declined to be more specific.
WATCH | A major fire led to the collapse of a major 12-lane highway in Atlanta on Thursday.
A massive fire in Atlanta has caused part of US Interstate 85, a 12-lane highway, to collapse, according to the Associated Press. It has shut down several roads in northeast Atlanta.
Witnesses said troopers were instructing cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its stability. Minutes later, it collapsed.
Black smoke can be seen for miles.
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--The Associated Press contributed to this report.