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ARC Board Approves Major Transportation Improvements

Posted on: Aug 23, 2017

The ARC board on Wednesday approved an amendment to the Regional Transportation Plan that fast-tracks major improvements around the Atlanta region.

These carefully targeted investments include rebuilding highway intersections to improve traffic flow and safety, and expanding the region’s network of Express lanes, which offer a faster and more reliable commute for those who carpool, ride transit, or pay a variable toll.

Upon the recommendation of ARC’s Transportation & Air Quality Committee, which approved the amendment at its August 10 meeting, the board approved the amendment to the short-range portion of the plan, known as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  Most of these projects were already in the long-range plan, but have been moved to the short-range plan due to new funding.

This amendment focused on road projects, adjusting their construction timetables and completion dates. All projects in this amendment will be completed or under construction by 2025.

Transit projects are expected to be the focus of the next TIP update, which should occur in 2018 — once the city of Atlanta and MARTA finalize their list of projects to be built with new sales tax revenue.

With ARC’s vote, the amendment approved today now moves on to the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority for state approval. The body will vote on September 13.

Project Details

The additional transportation dollars are helping fund the state’s Major Mobility Investment Program, managed by the Georgia Department of Transportation. This program includes nine projects in metro Atlanta, which are expected to be complete or under construction by 2025.

These fast-tracked projects include:

  • Express Lanes on Ga. 400
    • Two new Express (managed) lanes in each direction between I-285 and McGinnis Ferry Road.
    • Cost estimate: $1.8 billion
  • Express Lanes on I-285 West Wall
    • One new Express (managed) lane in each direction between I-20 and I-75.
    • Cost estimate: $655 million
  • Express Lanes on I-285 Top End
    • Two new Express (managed) lanes in each direction along top end of the Perimeter between I-75 and I-85.
    • Cost estimate: $4.2 billion
  • Express Lanes on I-285 East Wall
    • One new Express (managed) lane in each direction between I-20 and I-285.
    • Cost Estimate: $580 million
  • I-285/I-20 East Interchange
    • Ramp reconstruction; construction of “collector-distributor” lanes between Wesley Chapel and I-285,; construction of a westbound auxiliary lane between Lithonia Industrial Blvd. and Panola Road.
    • Cost Estimate: $475 million (not including costs associated with connection to Express Lanes)
  • I-285/I-20 West Interchange
    • Additional capacity along I-20 eastbound and a westbound collector-distributor lane from I-285 to Fulton Industrial Blvd. The existing left-hand exits will be reconfigured to right-hand exits.
    • Cost estimate: $790 million (not including costs associated with connection to Express Lanes)
  • I‑85 North Widening (Hamilton Mill Road to SR 211)
    • Adds an additional general‑purpose lane from the end of the current managed lanes at Hamilton Mill.
    • Cost: $135 million
  • I-85 North Widening (SR 211 to U.S. 129)
    • Adds an additional general purpose lane
    • Cost Estimate: $305 million
  • I-75 Truck Lanes (McDonough to Macon)
    • Addition of two designated, barrier-separated truck lanes in the northbound direction along I-75 new Express (managed) lanes in each direction between I-285 and McGinnis Ferry Road.
    • Cost estimate: $1.8 billion

NOTICE: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended a public health emergency declaration and a statewide shelter-in-place order for older adults and medically fragile residents through June 12.

The Atlanta Regional Commission office at 229 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, is closed to the public until further notice. All employees are working remotely and conducting business operations. ARC employees can be contacted directly during normal business hours. However, if you need immediate assistance call 404-463-3100.

If you are seeking resources for older persons and individuals with disabilities, contact us at404-463-3333 or visit empowerline.org.

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