The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has announced it has adjusted and refined the schedules for its Major Mobility Investment Program, including some projects in metro Atlanta, and is splitting the Interstate 285 top end express lanes development into two parts.
“As the (program) has developed and design work has progressed, we’ve evaluated how we are delivering the program and refined it to advance six improvement projects along 285,” GDOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry said in a news release. “Advancing these improvement projects, which were already part of the (program), will bring improvements to our region and local communities sooner and help mitigate disruptive construction congestion during the major express lanes’ construction.”
In response to the Neighbor’s questions about the project schedule changes, Scott Higley, a GDOT spokesman, said “By adjusting this schedule, we are able to advance six mobility improvement projects along I-285 sooner than was previously expected.”
Higley added the adjustments also allow more competitive bidding for project contractors and gives the state more flexibility in working with partners such as DeKalb County and The ATL on future projects.
GDOT also announced the 285 top end express lanes project is being split into two projects: the west metro one (between Paces Ferry Road and 400), which is expected to open in 2032, and the east metro one (between 400 and Henderson Road and north on 400 from 285 to the North Springs MARTA station), which is estimated to open in 2029. Previously, the entire project was expected to be finished in 2028.
“In reviews of the project with interested parties, GDOT heard from the construction and contracting industries that the $5-plus billion project was simply too large for competitive bids,” Higley said. “So breaking the projects into two smaller construction packages provides more competition on those bidding to build the project.”
GDOT is tweaking the six improvement projects along 285 by:
- Extending collector-distributor lanes constructed under the Transform 285/Georgia 400 project from Chamblee Dunwoody Road to Ashford Dunwoody Road in DeKalb County, estimated to open in third quarter 2023.
- Providing collector-distributor lanes and reconfiguring the interchange ramp to reduce the bottleneck from 285 to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard northbound in DeKalb County, expected to open in fourth quarter 2023.
- Adding one lane in each direction to two 285 bridges over the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads to accommodate the future 285 westside express lanes in Cobb County, estimated to open in first quarter 2025.
- Replacing and extending three overpass bridges to accommodate future 285 westside express lanes (South Cobb Drive over 285, Bolton Road over 285, and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway over 285) in Cobb and Fulton counties, expected to open in first quarter 2026.
- Replaces and extends three overpass bridges to accommodate future I-285 Eastside Express Lanes (Covington Highway over 285, Redwing Circle over 285, and Glenwood Road over 285) in DeKalb County, estimated to open in third quarter 2024.
- Adding an auxiliary lane along 285 between Roswell Road and Riverside Drive as well as the replacement of the 285/Mount Vernon Highway bridge in Sandy Springs, expected to open in third quarter 2024.
Also, the timelines for three projects has been changed.
The 285 eastside express lanes project (10.1 lane miles from north of Henderson Road to south of Glenwood Road in DeKalb County), which previously was to be completed by late 2026, is expected to be finished by 2028.
The 285 westside express lanes project (13.6 lane miles from Paces Ferry Road in Cobb County south to I-20 in Fulton County), which previously was to be completed by late 2027, is expected to be completed by 2032.
Finally, the 400 express lanes project’s timeline has been updated, with the estimated opening moved from 2024 to second quarter 2027.
For more information on the program’s projects, visit www.dot.ga.gov/MMIP.