I-85/GA 400 Ramp Construction Finally Begins

According to an article published this week in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, construction is finally beginning on 2 new ramps at the I-85/GA 400 interchange in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead community.

One will be a “flyover” to connect GA 400 southbound with I-85 northbound. The other ramp will connect I-85 southbound with GA 400 northbound.

Currently, those travelling down GA 400 or I-85’s respective southbound lanes one must navigate Lenox Road, Buford Highway (GA 13) and Sidney Marcus Boulevard to go between these 2 major freeways’ opposite directions. This needlessly adds too much traffic to these three surface streets, interferes with local traffic, and creates major “bottlenecks” in the process… especially during rush hour.

Last year, GDOT awarded the $21,500,000 project to Archer Western Contractors. Said funds are coming from toll revenues collected before GDOT and SRTA renewed the GA 400 tolls for another 10-year period.

When the 6 mile (10 km) GA 400 extension from I-85 to I-285 was being constructed in the early 1990s, GDOT could’ve added the ramps as part of the process, but failed to do so. Since the 1970s, Atlanta’s traffic was getting worse and worse by the day and GDOT surely must’ve known that. Perhaps if the extra ramps were built at the time, the cost may have been somewhat less. For that matter, it would not have provided SRTA and GDOT any excuse for continuing the tolls after promising to drop them after the original GA 400 bonds were paid off.

In any event, I’m happy to see that the sorely-needed ramps are indeed being built and look forward to the day they are opened.

Want to see what they will look like? Then please watch this video from “Livable Buckhead“…

As Looney Tunes would say, “That’s All, Folks!” Thanks for reading, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this weekend for Daylight Savings Time, and please come back often.

What About Ponce de Leon’s Potholes?

On March 1st, the Georgia DOT (GDOT) announced $20,000,000 worth of various road and bridge projects let statewide.

Interestingly enough, there are no Metro Atlanta projects on the master list (please click here for the list).

Recently, Atlanta’s CBS 46 “Pothole Patrol” pointed out the sad situation of potholes on the stretch of Ponce de Leon Avenue (US 29/78/278/GA 8/10) in East Atlanta. Please click here to watch the video entitled “Ponce de Pothole”.

While I’m cool with GDOT spreading money across the state to help fix existing transportation infrastructure (including replacing antiquated bridges with sturdy new structures), I have to wonder why they have allowed Ponce de Leon Avenue (a.k.a. “Ponce”) to become a plethora of potholes over the past several years.

Given that Ponce is not just a city street, but a state highway… and a very well-traveled one at that… shouldn’t said thoroughfare be given a little more priority than it has been? Don’t get me wrong; all Georgia highways should be maintained as well as possible, but it seems to me that GDOT is giving Ponce the “short shrift” by doing no more than putting proverbial “Band-Aids” on it (e.g. pothole filling). Granted that our tax dollars may not be quite as plentiful, but IMHO some roads should get a little higher priority if they have become hazardous to drivers. Any road with a plethora of potholes should be fixed, and that, dear reader, would be an extremely wise use of our tax dollars!!!

My hope is that “Ponce” will one day no longer
be called “Ponce de Pothole” and that drivers would not have to treat it as an obstacle course. As much as folks aren’t exactly “warm and fuzzy” about taxes, auto repairs (e.g. realignments) tend to suck the bucks out of our bank accounts as well.

Have you driven on Ponce lately? Do you use Ponce as
part of your daily commute to and from your job? What are your thoughts?
Please feel free to share them either in the comments section of this
blog or via our Facebook page.

And finally, thanks to fellow Atlanta-area roadgeek Bryant Anderson at “Southern Roadgeek” for bringing this to my attention. Bryant also has his own blog, Twitter, and videos, as well as his own Facebook page, all of which are extremely worth reading, subscribing to, and “liking”.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and please visit often.