DEKALB CO., Ga – A long-awaited construction project is finally underway to widen an interstate ramp where congestion is an everyday event.
It’s been five years since Justin Cullifer first reached out to the Georgia Department of Transportation about the traffic that backs up on the ramp from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to I-285, often clogging traffic back to Tilly Mill Road and beyond.
“Instead of driving here each morning, I've started taking back roads,” says Cullifer. “Through North Peachtree, Chamblee, Doraville, whatever gets me around the traffic without having to sit in line here.”
The source of his frustration is now the scene of heavy equipment and change.
“I'm optimistic to see something is finally happening,” says Cullifer. “I'm still going to remain a little bit suspect until we see if the construction is the right construction.”
Work is underway to add a lane to the ramp from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard south to I-285 west. In 2014, GDOT acknowledged that without the added lane the ramp can't handle all of the volume. Traffic clogs on Peachtree Industrial and backs up on side streets like Tilly Mill Road. Commuter Dude witnessed drivers jumping and weaving and cutting into traffic.
Last year, when Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes asked GDOT about the status of the project, spokesperson Annalyse Baker answered work would begin in early 2017.
“It's actually on time,” said Baker. “You have to consider traffic studies. You have to consider preliminary engineering.”
According to GDOT, the $1-million dollar ramp widening will reduce congestion as much as 68-percent.
The work is expected to last until February of next year.
“I'll be 100-percent convinced when I see the solution in place,” says Justin Cullifer.
For now, Cullifer will stick to back roads until the heavy equipment is replaced by a new ramp.