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Ga. 400/I-85 interchange completion to open one week late
by By Megan Thornton
September 11, 2013 12:01 PM | 5457 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Atlanta commuters will have to wait until after the new year to access the new ramps connecting I-85 and Ga. 400.

The one-week delay from the original opening date of Dec. 31 has been pushed back to Jan. 7, Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mark McKinnon said Thursday.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mark McKinnon, the opening has been pushed back to Jan. 7 due to a lane needing to be reopened on the Buford-Spring Connector during construction. The interchange was originally scheduled to be completed Dec. 31.

“As it turns out, it delayed [construction] about two weeks without keeping the lane closure in place,” he said. “We just didn’t think it was good for traffic to leave the lane closure in place any longer than it was.”

The $22.5 million project began construction July 15, 2011 and many metro Atlantans have long awaited the improved access to both major arteries and reduced traffic on surface streets including Sidney Marcus Boulevard and Lenox Road. The project includes two single-lane interchange ramps with one connecting 85 southbound to Ga. 400 northbound and the other to serve Ga. 400 southbound to 85 northbound traffic.

Since construction of Ga. 400’s $82.1 million extension south from I-285 to I-85 opened in August 1993, commuters have had no direct access via an interchange going those directions. Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell said the connector ramps should have been part of the initial construction but were left out due to concern for lack of funding. “It’s a handsome border to the horizon as you approach that area,” said Massell, who said he is not concerned about the delay. “We’ve waited some 20 years for it so waiting an extended [two weeks] won’t upset us at all.”

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