GDOT: We never received notification of downed tree in midtown - CBS46 News

GDOT: We never received notification of downed tree in midtown

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A busy northeast Atlanta road reopened at 9:30 a.m., after a tree blocked it for eight hours.

The tree fell across Ponce de Leon Avenue, near Clifton Road. Police received the call around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. It was not clear what caused the tree to fall.

The Georgia Department of Transportation did not get on scene to clear the tree until 5:30 a.m., and by that time, traffic had begun backing up toward Decatur. 

A GDOT spokeswoman said no one called them to request assistance in clearing the tree.

"We need to know, and we need to know as soon as possible," said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

Dale said it is GDOT's responsibility to maintain state highways like Ponce de Leon Avenue, even if those roads are within Atlanta city limits.

"When there is a tree down on one of our state routes, of course we're going to get out there, take care of it, assess the situation, make sure the people can get to work on time," said Dale.  "This is a situation where we just weren't notified."

Drivers faced long delays and detours.

"Definitely inconvenient, to say the least," said Meghan Patel, who was late to work.

The City of Atlanta issued a statement about the lag in response time through their Parks and Recreation Department.

"The Department of Parks and Recreation is working with Atlanta police and our forestry division to investigate why there may have been a delay between when the call was received, and when forestry was contacted," said Director of Parks Doug Voss. "We regret any inconvenience and traffic challenges that this may have caused commuters this morning."

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