Atlanta — Jun 27, 2018
The Atlanta Regional Commission Board today approved $14.5 million to buy the right-of-way to widen and improve two major Henry County thoroughfares.
- SR 81 – Right of Way will be purchased for the eventual widening of SR 81 along a 3-mile stretch from downtown McDonough east to Bethany Road. The new roadway will be four lanes with sidewalks on each side and a raised median. Right of way will be purchased beginning in 2020, with construction starting as soon as 2024.
- Rock Quarry Road – will be widened to four lanes with a multi-use path along a 2.5-mile stretch between Eagles Landing Parkway and SR 42/138 near the I-75 interchange. Right-of-way will be purchased beginning in 2020, with construction starting as soon as 2024.
ARC developed the project list in close consultation with local governments to meet the Fayette community’s greatest needs. All projects are scheduled to be under construction by 2023, with funding from federal, state, and local sources.
The Henry projects are among more than 100 across the region funded as part of an update to the short-term portion of ARC’s Regional Transportation Plan, The Atlanta Region’s Plan, at a total cost of $400 million. The ARC board approved the update on June 27.
“These projects address some of the most significant local transportation needs and will help people get where they need to go safely and efficiently,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “This will provide more options for many residents and will strengthen our economic competitiveness.”
The potential impact is significant, from cleaner air to reduced congestion:
- The bike-ped and transit projects will take enough cars off the road to reduce annual vehicle miles traveled in the Atlanta region by 3 million miles.
- Tailpipe emissions will decrease by 19,900 tons per year.
- Vehicle travel delays will decline by 7 million hours a year.
The $400 million project list is part of $7 billion dollars of improvements that are already planned or under construction through 2023. Many of these are large freeway projects, such as Express lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties, and a massive rebuild of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange.
Here’s a closer look at how the $400 million project list will improve transportation in metro Atlanta:
Improved roads and intersections
Dozens of projects are on the horizon to improve congestion and safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. Highlights include:
- South Barrett Parkway Reliever – Shiloh Valley Drive and Greers Chapel Drive in Cobb County will be widened from two to four lanes, creating a viable alternative to Barrett Parkway.
- S. 278 redesign – U.S. 278 in Avondale Estates will become a pedestrian-friendly “Main Street” with improved sidewalks, new bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings with medians.
- Barnwell Road – To improve traffic flow on Barnwell Road at the intersection with Holcomb Bridge Road in Johns Creek, dual left turn lanes will be added to Barnwell, along with a through lane and a right-hand turn lane, and a roundabout will be built at Niblick Drive.
Better transit options
The region’s transit providers plan to improve service and meet growing demand:
- Gwinnett County Transit will extend weekday service on local bus routes will now run past midnight, and reduces wait times to 30 minutes or less most of the day
- CobbLINC will establish Sunday service and enhances Saturday service
- Douglas County will establish bus service
- SRTA/GRTA will expand Xpress service in coordination with the opening of the I-75/I-575 Xpress Lanes in Cobb and Cherokee and expand park-and-ride lots in Rockdale County and at Sugarloaf in Gwinnett County
- MARTA will establish arterial rapid transit routes in the city of Atlanta (Cascade Road, Cleveland Ave., Campbellton Road, Metropolitan Parkway, and Peachtree Road)
Expanded regional multi-use trail network
A major expansion of the region’s multi-use trails used by bicyclists and pedestrians is planned – about 800 miles in all. The projects are a major step toward the creation of a truly regional trail network that will make it easier for people to get where they need to go without driving.
- Atlanta BeltLine(Atlanta) – Preliminary engineering for two segments – Lindbergh Center to 10Th Street/Monroe Drive, and Glenwood Ave. to University Ave.
- Bob Callan Trail (Cobb) – Design of extension from Interstate North Parkway to just south of Windy Hill Road, creating direct or potential connections to Kennesaw Mountain, the Silver Comet Trail, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, PATH400, and the Atlanta BeltLine Trail.
- Peachtree Creek Greenway Trail (DeKalb) – This project will extend the Peachtree Creek Greenway from the city of Atlanta to North Druid Hills Road, connecting to the Atlanta BeltLine Trail.
- PATH400 (Atlanta) – The PATH400 trail will be extended from Wieuca Road to Loridans Drive, providing a critical link in the region’s trail network, providing access to major employment centers.
Fast-Tracked Highway Projects
Preliminary engineering and design will be provided for several major freeway projects, including:
- I-285 West Express Lanes (I-20W to I-75N)
- I-285 East Express Lanes (I-20E to I-85N)
- Interchange improvements at I-285 and I-20W
- Interchange improvements at I-285 and I-20E
Atlanta Region’s Transportation Improvement Program
The project list updates the Atlanta region’s Transportation Improvement Program, which is managed by ARC. As the region’s federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, ARC allocates federal transportation dollars across the 20-county Atlanta region.
Learn more about metro Atlanta’s Transportation Improvement Program, including detailed information about each of the projects on the list.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta and 72 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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