Early start to construction season.
The unseasonably warm winter weather in Metro Atlanta will translate to an early start for construction season. Officials at the Georgia D.O.T. say the warmer temperatures have allowed them to begin planning ten major construction projects. See the detailed list below taken from the Department's press release.
Mild Temps Make for Early Start on Multiple Metro Mobility Measures
ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Transportation is taking advantage of a (so far?) warmer than normal winter to work on several important projects to improve motorists' mobility in Metropolitan Atlanta. No fewer than 10 major jobs already are underway or will begin in the next few weeks.
Several of Metro's most vexing traffic bottlenecks are getting makeovers. Flex lanes will be opened for rush-hour traffic on a crowded segment of Georgia 400; two bothersome Interstate Highway 285 (Top End) interchanges and a pair of Interstate Highway 75 interchanges on the Southside are being re-worked; much-needed expansion of the Interstate Highway 85/GA 400 interchange is about to begin; and new lanes are coming to two of the area's most congested roads - GA 400 in North Fulton County and I-75 in Henry County.
"Each of these projects will provide immediate relief in heavily used Metro traffic corridors," DOT Commissioner Keith Golden said, "Together, they represent an investment of more than $130 million in our transportation infrastructure. And they underscore Georgia DOT's absolute commitment to deliver meaningful mobility improvements in Atlanta and throughout all of Georgia."
Major Metro projects underway or about to begin include:
- Interstate Highway 285/Roswell Road Interchange - Work valued at $3.7 million has begun on widening the Roswell Road/State Route 9 bridge across I-285 to enhance movements in an always-clogged Sandy Springs corridor. The work is building dedicated left turn lanes onto the Perimeter and widening the entrance ramps to two lanes in both directions. Completion is scheduled for October.
- Interstate Highway 75/Jonesboro Road/Lee Street Interchange - By July, this $46.4 million Clayton County project will have opened; it features new, wider Jonesboro Road/SR54 and Lee Street bridges across I-75 in Morrow, as well as a new adjacent railroad bridge. The wider, parallel roadway structures will improve mobility for the heavy retail traffic in this busy commercial and shopping district.
- Interstate Highway 20 (Eastside) Collector Distributor (CD) Lanes - Work began last week on this $31 million project to add 4.5 miles of new eastbound CD lanes to facilitate merging and local traffic flow between the I-285 and Panola Road interchanges in Dekalb County. It is due to be finished in mid-2013.
- Interstate Highway 285/Ashford Dunwoody Road Interchange - This interchange, adjacent to the bustling Perimeter office and retail area is being reconfigured into Georgia's first "diverging diamond" interchange - a $4.6 million job that will move traffic crossing the bridge from its customary right side of the bridge to the left, facilitating easier movements to and from I-285. Work should be completed by September.
- Georgia 400 "flex" lanes - On the five miles between Holcomb Bridge Road and the North Springs MARTA station, motorists will soon be able to utilize the hard outside shoulders as a travel lane during respective rush hours. The lanes, now restricted to transit buses during commute hours, will be open to all vehicles during specified hours to be determined soon. (Initially, the effort may focus only on southbound morning traffic.) As the lanes already are paved to full depth, only nominal cost will be incurred.
- Georgia 400 "auxiliary" lanes - These southbound lanes, stretching nine miles from McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County to Holcomb Bridge in Fulton, have been serving as extended entrance and exit merge lanes between the six interchanges in the corridor. They're to be converted to a full-time, through lane. Again, the pavement already exists so cost will be minimal.
- Interstate Highway 75 Henry County "auxiliary" lane - The perpetually crowded stretch of I-75 between Interstate Highway 675 and Eagles Landing Parkway/Hudson Bridge Road is getting a new, $7.5 million northbound auxiliary lane to match a southbound one added in 2009; there now will be four lanes in each direction in the corridor. The project, to be completed in 2013, also will reconstruct the Walt Stephens Road overpass.
- Interstate Highway 85/GA 400 Interchange - Work will begin within weeks on this $21.5 million project to add ramps that will allow southbound GA 400 and I-85 traffic to access northbound 85 and northbound 400, respectively; eliminating the current heavy use of residential streets for such movements. The work will continue through 2013.
- Mitchell Street Bridge replacement - Mild temperatures allowed the new bridge deck to be poured recently, giving the $8.8 million job in downtown Atlanta a good chance of being completed ahead of schedule this summer.
- Interstate Highway 75/Jodeco Road Interchange - A $15.7 million contract is pending to rebuild this Henry County interchange; widening Jodeco and its I-75 ramps. If awarded, work could begin in March.
The public is encouraged to call 511(toll free) or visit www.511ga.org for lane closure information on these or any Department project.
On Tuesday, July 31, voters will decide if 12 designated districts across Georgia will be authorized to collect a one- cent sales tax for the next 10 years to be devoted exclusively to local and regional transportation projects. Funds collected in Metropolitan Atlanta could only be spent here and only to move forward projects chosen by local elected officials. More than 1,500 such local projects throughout the state have been selected by city and county leaders. For further information on the important Transportation Investment Act (TIA) referendum, please visit: http://www.it3.ga.gov/Pages/default.aspx