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Sandy Springs moves on I-285/400 traffic
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
October 02, 2012 09:30 PM | 2100 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although the July 31 primary election saw metro Atlanta voters nix a $8.5 billion transportation tax, including a $450 million renovation of the Interstate 285 and Ga. 400 interchange traveled by 200,000 drivers a day, Sandy Springs signed up to help find money elsewhere.

The Sandy Springs City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday at City Hall to support a resolution the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts will take to Gov. Nathan Deal in search of $112.5 million in public and private funds, to be matched by $337.5 million in federal commitments.

“This is to lend support to the PCID that has sent a message to the governor,” said Mayor Eva Galambos. “The governor has said, ‘Yes, we need to proceed with 400 and 285,’ in effect.”

Galambos said declaring the bottleneck a top priority will remind Deal to follow up.

“We need activity on the interchange. That’s essentially what that long resolution states,” she said about the nearly 450-word document containing information like the districts’ $306 million in tax revenue.

Yvonne D. Williams, president and CEO of the districts, said the intersection improvement requires attention-getting measures.

“We’ve stayed focused on this project because it has to be continually championed to stay on the top to be competitive and to compete with every other person’s jurisdiction who want to be at the front of the line,” she said.

The combined efforts of Sandy Springs and other entities may be the push the project needs, Williams said.

“Dunwoody will pass [the resolution] next week, Doraville will pass it, Chamblee will pass it, two chambers of commerce will pass it,” she said. “We will have the coalition that Georgia’s never seen to go in and say we’re going to deliver and help this region become economically connected and prosperity continued.”

The coalition, called the Top-End Perimeter Collaborative, was started last month by the districts, a self-taxed business community spanning Fulton and DeKalb counties.

The districts’ projects include the recently opened, $175-million diverging diamond interchange at I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road, for which they raised $800,000.

“Our boards include the owners of the highest-valued commercial property in the [districts], which form the heart of the central Perimeter market,” Williams said in a statement Sept. 26.

Williams said the I-285 and Ga. 400 project will have a positive impact on the Cumberland market in Cobb County, Doraville’s General Motors plant redevelopment and the port of Savannah.

What’s next?

The Chamblee City Council meets Oct. 11; the Dunwoody City Council meets Oct. 15

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