ATLANTA - There is some good news for drivers along the top end perimeter in Fulton and DeKalb counties.
Relief is coming to the busy Interstate 285 and Georgia 400 interchange. It's an area that consistently backs up during rush hour.
Georgia's Department of Transportation estimates this interchange carries more than 360,000 vehicles a day.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced he's allocating more than $200 million to get started on some major improvements.
“When that interchange backs up, it backs up every side road,” said driver Kristen Ware.
For someone like Ware who lives and works close to the interchange, the improvements can't come fast enough.
“I have to drive 3 miles; it can take me 30 minutes easily,” Ware said.
“Statistically it is one of the most congested interchanges in the entire United States,” Deal said.
Ever since the failure of the transportation 1 cent sales tax in metro Atlanta, Deal has made the interchange a priority. He announced Thursday at a groundbreaking for State Farm office that will bring thousands more employees to the area, that he's moving up the timeline on the more than half-a-billion-dollar project.
Deal couldn't give specifics.
“It really depends on those environmental studies. I understand it is probably going to be 2015 before they're completed, but shortly after that we would hopefully see construction begin,” Deal said.
“We have 46,000 people who live here. We have 120,000 who come to work here. Traffic has gotten worse and worse,” said Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis.
Davis said the help can't come soon enough, calling it the biggest problem Dunwoody faces.
“The entire intersection is broken. It was designed for a smaller amount of traffic,” Davis said.
More than $200 million will come from bonds and the motor fuel tax. The total price tag for the interchange improvements could reach over $600 million.
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