ATLANTA – Commuters are seeing significant changes along Georgia 400 as crews make progress on a major $1.1 billion project.

Michael Poppell has a front row seat to work that will overhaul the interchange of Georgia 400 and I-285. Poppell has cleared a spot in his backyard so he can watch the heavy machinery removing trees along the highway. The work is noisy and dirty, but Poppell and his family can tolerate it, knowing what’s to come.

“It's probably going to get worse and we're probably going to hate the first two years but when it's done, it's only going to get better,” says Poppell.

A GDOT contractor is clearing trees along 400, preparing for a new set of lanes that will stretch from I-285 northward. Eventually, the same work will take place along I-285. The work has required some overnight lane closures.

Among the next steps will be replacing the Mt. Vernon Road bridge over Georgia 400.

“Anytime we're working over the interstate you have more interruptions, more lane closures,” says GDOT’s Natalie Dale. “We try to get those done at nights and weekends.”

New ramps are coming to the 400/285 interchange to ease congestion. New lanes will give traffic easier access to exits. There will be a new interchange at Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road. It will all take until the year 2020.

The work will disrupt traffic at times. Eventually, neighbors like Michael Poppell will get new sound walls to block traffic noise.

“Most of the people I've talked to are excited it's happening,” says Poppell.

He can see past the disruptions, into the future.