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Ramps connecting Ga. 400, I-85 to open in mid-March
by Nicole Dow
January 30, 2014 02:22 PM | 3676 views | 6 6 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Transportation’s Ga. 400/Interstate 85 interchange project is set to be completed by mid-March after weather-related issues again delayed the opening date, said GDOT spokesman Mark McKinnon.

“With a number of wet days that we’ve had and some of these unusually cold days and the fact that the bridge is made out of concrete and it’s very difficult to do concrete work when it’s real wet and real cold, … we pushed [the completion date] back,” he said. “We also changed the staging for the contractor on the Buford-Spring Connector. We did not allow them to keep a lane closure in as long as they had planned to, because we weren’t happy with the traffic patterns. So as a result of that, that kind of pushed things back a little bit as well.”

The project was originally scheduled for completion Dec. 31. In late December, GDOT spokeswoman Karlene Barron told the Neighbor Newspapers the project was on track for completion by the first week of February.

“Of course it is a high-speed corridor, so we want to be sure that everything is completely finished and completely safe and ready to go before we put traffic on it,” McKinnon said.

The $22.5 million development began construction in July 2011, nearly two decades after 400’s $82.1 million extension south from I-285 to I-85 opened in August 1993.

The current project completes the connectivity of the earlier one. Once opened, ramps will allow motorists traveling south on 400 to merge onto I-85 northbound and those traveling south on I-85 to connect to 400 northbound without having to get off the highway and sit in surface street traffic.

Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell said the completion of the interchange project will be a major win for the community.

“No. 1, it will greatly improve the flow of traffic on Ga. 400 and Interstate 85, because [motorists] won’t have to slow up to get off and on,” he said. “When you improve the flow of traffic, you decrease accidents and you decrease pollution, so that’s a major benefit on Ga. 400 and on Interstate 85.”

Massell also said the project will decrease the congestion on nearby surface streets, such as Sidney Marcus Boulevard, Buford Highway and Piedmont Road. Regarding the delay of its completion, he said it is better to wait and make sure everything is safe.

“We’ve waited 20-something years, so waiting another few months is acceptable,” he said.

As the road work continues, McKinnon said there will be some minimal lane closures.

“Any time we have lane closures up out there we try to put the electronic signs out, and we make sure that folks are well aware of what’s going on ahead of time,” he said.
Comments
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Waste of money
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June 13, 2014
This has not improved traffic on the surface roads, only a handful of cars on it each day - Waste of money.
GTcommuter
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April 02, 2014
Ramps are opening this afternoon (4/2/14)
Growler
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April 02, 2014
Well the new interchange signs are up at least, so that's progress!
auburnjohn
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March 19, 2014
The DOT website still shows a completion date of 01/14/14 (and ~85 percent complete, with a time stamp of 03/18/14). I saw a news report that said mid-year 2014. I'm surprised that no news source is following up on the fact that you can't find a completion date. Once the initial dates were pushed back, everyone just forgot about it. Sigh.
pleaseopentheramp
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March 13, 2014
Yes, I cant find any updates on when the ramps will open. Eagerly awaiting!
Kevin P
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March 12, 2014
It's mid-March and we are still waiting...... Does anyone have an idea as to the date these ramps will open?
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