City still pushing for upgrades to I-285, Ga. 400
by Noreen Cochran
October 14, 2012 01:16 AM | 2244 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SANDY SPRINGS — Although metro Atlanta voters nixed a multi-billion dollar transportation tax that would have paid for a $450 million renovation of the Interstate 285 and Ga. 400 interchange, Sandy Springs has signed up to help find money elsewhere.

The Sandy Springs City Council recently voted 6-0 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,” Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos said. “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. About 200,000 drivers pass through the interchange every day.

“We need activity on the interchange. That’s essentially what that long resolution states,” she said about the nearly 450-word document containing information such as 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 wants 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. She expects Dunwoody, Doraville and Chamblee city councils, as well as two chambers of commerce to also approve the resolution.

“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,” Williams said.

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.

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.
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October 14, 2012
Someone tell me why getting $300 million from the feds is a good idea again? When is getting money from the feds good, and when is getting money from the feds bad? Aren't we capable of paying for our own transportation projects without involving Washington D.C.? Or is getting help from DC only bad when it goes to the city of Atlanta?
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