The boards of the districts tapped the proposed makeover as its top priority, unanimously approving a resolution to that effect.
“The districts have a unique opportunity to mobilize to take advantage of an important project of regional significance that may not come our way again for many years,” said districts President and CEO Yvonne Williams.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute, the top end of I-285 has some of the worst traffic congestion problems in the country. Moreover, an adjacent portion of Ga. 400 is cited as the most unreliable commute in the nation.
Traffic congestion at the interchange affects the ability of the state’s northern region to continue to attract and retain jobs, Williams said.
“With 29 million square feet of office space, Central Perimeter is the dominant office market in metro Atlanta and one of the region’s largest employment centers,” Williams said. “Nearly 90 percent of the market’s 123,515 employees commute to work daily — many by way of the more than 200,000 vehicles that pass through the interchange daily.”
The districts’ boards’ decision to give upgrading of the interchange top priority comes on the heels of the defeated Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax over the summer. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the T-SPLOST initiative for the 10-county metro Atlanta area, which included a $450 million I-285/Ga. 400 reconstruction project.
Williams noted the districts are formulating some financial alternatives for consideration by their boards.
Since the boards’ approval of the reconstruction resolution last month, the organization has been working to gain the formal support of surrounding cities, Williams said.
Sandy Springs City Council has gotten on board, attaching top priority status to the transportation project in its own resolution. The governing bodies of Chamblee and Dunwoody were set to examine the matter by press time, with Doraville following suit in mid-November.
A timetable for the beginning of actual reconstruction efforts has not been set, officials said.
“The timetable will evolve out of the financial plan and discussion with partners at the local, state and federal levels,” Williams said.