GDOT plans I-285 overhaul, residents voice concerns

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Residents shared their praise and concerns Tuesday over the Georgia Department of Transportation's revamp of Interstate 285, as the agency plans to tackle growing traffic with an overhaul of the top half of the Perimeter with more express lanes.

The construction project, called the Major Mobility Investment Program, would add express lanes to the northern half of the Perimeter, starting above Interstate 20, and trails right into Georgia Highway 400 around Sandy Springs.

"That is the bulk of the congestion-- a quarter of a million people daily," said Natalie Dale of GDOT. 

The construction would be split into three parts. The southeast portion, from Henderson Road to I-20, is set to start construction first in 2022. 

Changes to the entire top half of the Perimeter should finish in 2028. 

Residents in DeKalb County attended an open house to learn more about how the southeast project will look, and where construction could fall in relation to their homes and their commute. A virtual map shows how the project could appear to drivers, with an express lane in each direction in the middle of the freeway. 

An additional "general use" lane will be added to each side of I-285 along that stretch.

Some business owners and residents praised the plan for easier freeway access to the area and a faster commute. 

"Access to the express lanes into the area makes sense for businesses because people can come in and out," said Matthew Lee, executive director of the Tucker Northlake Community Improvement District, representing several hundred commercial businesses. More freeway infrastructure could encourage businesses to build in the area, Lee said.  

Others voiced concerns that the newly constructed lanes could fall even closer to their homes. 

"How close will that road get to my property?" one resident said, who tells FOX 5 News the traffic and noise from I-285 is already a concern. 

GDOT officials said teams will study the noise levels in the area and add sound barriers if necessary. 

There will be another open house for residents to hear about this portion of the Major Mobility Investment Program . It will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Atlanta-Northlake, 4156 La Vista Road in Atlanta.