DeKalb County

Multi-million dollar project rehabbing 20 acres of I-20 and I-85 in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — They’re entrances thousands of drivers pass daily, connecting them to and from South DeKalb communities along I-20 .

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond says for years, these interstate islands owned by GDOT were neglected.

Approximately 20 acres of I-20 and I-85 interchanges, including Chamblee Tucker and Flat Shoals Roads, have or will receive multimillion-dollar facelifts.

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These interchanges and roadways are among the most highly traveled highways in DeKalb County.

“These enhanced gateways will create positive first impressions of our county for tens of thousands of travelers,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln. “No matter where you enter or leave DeKalb — north, south, east or west — these beautified gateways will send a message that DeKalb County is a beautiful place to live, work and play.”

The Gateway Beautification Project is designed to increase community pride, attract new business investments, and reduce crime.

According to research conducted by Eugenia C. South, faculty director for the Urban Health Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, litter and blight mitigation efforts, along with the planting of new grass and trees, resulted in a decrease in criminal activity in urban high-crime areas.

“The Candler Road interchange has been landscaped and will also benefit from the installation of new LED lighting,” Thurmond said. “We are confident these investments will improve public safety and enhance the quality of life.”

Russell Landscape won the bid to design and install the projects which include new trees such as bald cypress, maples, crape myrtles and an array of flowering trees. Russell will also provide weekly maintenance.

The Gateway Beautification Project is the county’s eight-year blight eradication and beautification initiative.

The county has spent more than $20 million aiding in the demolition and abatement of nearly 700 properties since 2017.

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