ATLANTA — You’ll want to plan ahead if you’re driving this weekend along Interstate 285 at Georgia 400, the site of the largest road project in the state.
The second phase of bridge construction started Friday at 11 p.m. First, the eastbound lanes are shifting to the inside lanes of the new bridge that spans Georgia 400 and Glenridge Drive. Then, within the next few weeks, crews will shift the westbound lanes.
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Last October, the Georgia Department of Transportation restricted traffic to three lanes in each direction so crews could replace I-285′s bridges over Georgia 400. Workers have completed the inside lanes of those new bridges and are now focused on the outside portions.
“What we did back in October, we shifted you to the outside of the exterior,” said Kyle Collins, a GDOT spokesman. “This is going to shift you toward the interior, more to the left side of the road, to put you on those new bridge structures and that new pavement.”
This shift will allow crews to demolish and rebuild the outer sections of the I-285 bridges. Three lanes in each direction will remain open during daylight hours during these lane shifts, but additional lanes could close overnight.
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For drivers, all the construction is a source of frustration and confusion. Lisa Martin said she avoids I-285 “with every possible thing that I can.” She said all the road work caused her to miss an exit. “If you don’t drive it enough, you don’t know where you’re going,” she said. “I got stuck and had to go around the block.”
Warren Shuford also does his best to steer clear of this stretch of I-285. He said his sister had just had a minor accident in the work zone. “Everything’s a mess over there,” he said. “I hate it.”
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But Ricardo Cardenas said while the construction is painful now, he thinks the outcome will be well worth it. “I can see it working,” he said. “Once all the machines are gone and all that, I can see it working.”
Phase 2 of the bridge construction is expected to take roughly four months – around the same time as the first phase. The entire project, along with I-285 and Georgia 400, which began in 2017, is expected to be mostly completed by the end of 2023.
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