Construction to begin on planned roundabout off I-20 at Maynard Terrace

Just feet from Interstate 20 in East Atlanta sits a neighborhood that has dealt with traffic problems for years.

"The situation we have now is not viable," said Anita Temple.

Neighbors say the interstate is not the problem, instead it is the eastbound off-ramp at Maynard Terrace.

"It’s a huge bottleneck," said Max Turner. "Big problems for everybody who lives in the area. Use this exit. Going up to Kirkwood, turning left is a nightmare. It’s like turning left onto DeKalb Avenue."

It is a busy intersection, especially at rush hour. Temple says the left turn lane constantly backs up and people turn right, then do U-turns to avoid the line. She says that combined with traffic on Maynard Terrace means there are regular crashes. She took these pictures last week of the latest one. 

"It’s not a safe situation, and it happens," Temple said. "You know, the accidents just seem like they’re getting more frequent."

For years, the Georgia Department of Transportation has been working on a fix. After studying the area, the agency decided a roundabout would be better than a stoplight. GDOT says a traffic circle would reduce deadly and injury crashes by 71%.

"Some people might have funny feelings about roundabouts versus traffic lights, but I think in general that improves traffic flows so much that I think it far outweighs any potential awkwardness people may have with roundabouts," Turner said.

Image 1 of 7

GDOT plans to turn a section of the eastbound off ramp from I-20 east to Maynard Terrace into a roundabout. (FOX 5)

GDOT says work on the roundabout will begin this week about a year behind schedule because of cost issues.

Some neighbors say they do not believe this will fix anything, but Temple is hopeful it will. 

"I just hope that it creates a smoother flow," she said.

With construction finally getting underway, a contractor tells me it will take about 20 months to complete. According to GDOT’s website, it will cost at least $2 million to build.