SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Commuters on Riverside Drive are now whirling through the new double-roundabout interchange at I-285, and while some are pleased, others say it has not helped.
Doris Muir is among the drivers who believe it has helped.
“I come through here multiple times a day,” says Muir. “I find it moving all day smoothly. People are a little hesitant.”
The $5-million project eliminated two traffic lights at Riverside Drive and I-285, replacing them with roundabouts, one on each side of the bridge.
GDOT says by eliminating the stop and go traffic at the lights, and by eliminating left turns, it has made the interchange safer.
“You’re having a steadier flow,” says GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale. “Less change of a rear end collision. We’re creating a safer environment.
Some drivers, however, have complained that GDOT spent millions on an interchange where there's still congestion.
“Once they get used to them (the roundabouts) it's going to be second nature,” says Dale.
GDOT engineers insist traffic has improved at the interchange better 22 hours a day, leaving a couple of hours where there are still backups.
Dale says while the interchange is open, construction crews are still present putting the finishing touches on the project.
“There isn't some necessary striping there,” says Dale. “We've got cones directing traffic.”
GDOT says once the project is finished, and commuters have time to grow accustomed to the new design, traffic will improve throughout the day.
Doris Muir is already pleased.
“We used to spend an hour sitting way back in traffic there and sitting on the exit,” says Muir. “This is great.”