Construction of Innovating New Interchange Begins Next Week
Jan. 12, 2012 – Construction of the first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in Georgia launches next week at I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road.
“A number of issues and changes are to be anticipated with a construction project of this type and magnitude,” said Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) Chief Operating Officer David M. Purcell.
“While the construction process will not significantly disrupt traffic, a new ramp, sidewalks and pedestrian islands will be built as part of the design,” Purcell said. “As a result, the existing interchange landscape will be replaced with a new stand of trees and landscape plantings to produce a grove-like effect.”
During the last several weeks, the PCIDs have contacted a number of public and non-profit organizations to find possible homes for some of the mature crape myrtles that currently landscape the interchange. These crape myrtles were installed by Perimeter’s business community years ago and their size, along with the large size of other varieties of trees along the interchange, makes any kind of transplantation difficult and expensive.
“Because crapes are hearty, we extended an opportunity for them to be relocated. However, their size, the cost to relocate (around $550 each tree) and no guarantee of survival make it prohibitive for us and most likely for the non-profit organizations we reached out to,” said PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams.
“We do hope to be able to transplant some of the current interchange landscaping, including some of the perennial plantings, in the immediate area. The rest of the shrubs and trees will need to be removed to allow for the construction of the new DDI project, which is critical to maintain the quality of life and grow the economy of the Central Perimeter area,” said Williams.
In August 2011, GDOT awarded a $4.6 million contract to E.R. Snell Contractors, Inc. of Snellville for the DDI project, a concept which was initiated by the PCIDs. The first DDI in Georgia, the I-285 at Ashford Dunwoody Road project is an innovative, low-cost solution to improve traffic flow and safety. Under free-flowing traffic conditions on surrounding highways, the DDI is expected to reduce traffic delays during evening rush hours up to a projected 15 to 20 percent.