The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is offering residents a way to get more information on its next big project: the proposed Interstate 285 express lanes.
The agency has announced the dates for its Community Conversations: I-285 Top End Express Lanes, a series of informational meetings focusing on improved trip time reliability around the I-285 top end and Georgia 400 areas included in the proposed I-285 top end express lanes in DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb counties.
The lanes are expected to start on the west side of 285 at the Paces Ferry Road exit in Cobb and wrap around the Perimeter north and then east all the way to Henderson Road in DeKalb, just southeast of I-85. They will also extend along 400 north from 285, just south of the Glenridge Connector, to the North Springs MARTA station.
GDOT is inviting the public to attend one of seven meetings set for between May 14 and 23, held across six cities in the areas where the express lanes will be built. The events are expected to give 285 and 400 users and other stakeholders in the area a greater understanding of the different mobility options available and the continuing development of transportation infrastructure over the past decade.
“Community Conversations: I-285 Top End Express Lanes serves as a bridge between past improvement projects and current proposed projects,” GDOT Major Mobility Investment Program Manager Tim Matthews said in a news release. “The series of meetings allows those living and working along the I-285 top end to better understand the future of transportation in the area, as hundreds of thousands of people commute along this corridor every day. These community forums will be informational and offer the public more opportunities to learn about the project from representatives of the department and project team. We are here to listen and address any questions you may have.”
The program is an initial 11 state and federally funded mobility projects dedicated to improving roads and bridges, including express lanes. At an April 18 community meeting in Brookhaven, Mayor John Ernst and District 1 Councilwoman Linley Jones reportedly said a GDOT official told them two days earlier that 300 homes could be affected by the 285 express lanes project, including some homes in that city.
No project concept displays will be provided at the Community Conversations meeting series because they are still in development and will be reflective of the community’s input from these meetings. The meetings are to inform local stakeholders of GDOT’s decision to formally close the Revive285 project, to rescind the existing Revive285 project’s notice of intent and to move forward with the 285 express lanes project.
The Federal Highway Administration is the lead federal agency. Previous improvements designed and constructed, which were originally proposed as part of Revive285, include the Ashford Dunwoody Road Diverging Diamond Interchange in Dunwoody the Riverside Drive roundabout in Sandy Springs and the Transform 285/400 project, which is currently under construction in Sandy Springs.
The meetings will be informal, with a brief opening presentation, followed by opportunities for the public to visit with project team members who will be divided into topical stations for informal questions and feedback. This format will be followed at each location.
The public information open house meetings will be held in early 2020, when the initial concept plans will be displayed, and the project team will be accepting formal public comments.
The Community Conversations are as follows:
May 14 from noon to 2 p.m.: Clarion Conference Center, 2001 Clearview Ave., Doraville
May 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Chamblee First United Methodist Church, 4147 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee
May 15 from noon to 2 p.m.: St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 1978 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody
May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Cir. SE, Smyrna
May 22 from noon to 2 p.m.: Hilton Atlanta Perimeter Suites, 6120 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs
May 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Dunwoody City Hall, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE, Dunwoody
May 23 6 to 8 p.m.: Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven
The public can also provide comments on the project by emailing TopEndExpressLanes@dot.ga.gov or calling 404-978-7490. For more information on the project, visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/I285TopEnd (285 project) or www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL (all express lane projects).