Monday commute with I-285 lane closures a breeze - it won’t last

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

The first weekday with reduced lanes on the top end of the Perimeter was mostly a breeze for motorists. But it won’t last.

The Georgia Department of Transportation reduced eastbound I-285 from four lanes to three lanes between Roswell Road and Ashford Dunwoody Road over the weekend. Monday was the first weekday commute with the lanes reduced.

But it was something of a soft launch. Traffic was light because of the Columbus Day holiday, and many schools were closed. GDOT expects traffic to get worse as the week goes on.

“We want people on heightened alert that it’s a new traffic configuration,” GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said.

GDOT is reducing lanes on I-285 near the Ga. 400 interchange as it replaces three bridges along the Perimeter. The agency started by closing an eastbound lane over the weekend. It will close a westbound lane as soon as next weekend. The closures are expected to last at least eight months.

GDOT expects to keep three lanes open in each direction during the daytime while the construction lasts. But closing lanes on one of the busiest stretches of highway in the Southeast is expected to cause unusually bad traffic in the months ahead.

Dale advised motorists to use navigational apps to guide them through the area each day.

“Keep on high alert as you travel through this area,” Dale said. “Every day won’t be the same.”

GDOT added the three bridge replacements to the larger $800 million I-285/Ga. 400 interchange construction project. The project will be completed in the second half of next year.

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