Metro Atlanta transportation plan: A county-by-county look

The new Atlanta Regional Commission transportation plan includes $173 billion in spending on roads, transit and other projects.
The new Atlanta Regional Commission transportation plan includes $173 billion in spending on roads, transit and other projects.

Last week, the Atlanta Regional Commission Board approved a 30-year, $173 billion transportation plan for the metro region. It's loaded with major road projects like new toll lanes on the Perimeter and new I-285 interchanges at I-20 east and west of Atlanta. It includes high-capacity transit projects like the Clifton Corridor light rail line in Atlanta, commuter rail to Clayton County and bus rapid transit along I-85 in Gwinnett County. And it includes billions of dollars in smaller initiatives to encourage carpooling, working at home and other ways to get us to drop the habit of driving alone to work.

So, what’s in it for you? Well, there are about 450 projects in the plan, so it’s hard to list them all here. But below are highlights from 10 metro Atlanta counties for the first decade of the plan.

You can find the details of the plan here. And you can read our full story here.

Highlights of projects in next 10 years

Cherokee 

• Widening about 6 miles of SR 20 to six lanes, from I-575 to East Cherokee Drive, with turn lanes at major driveways and sidewalks on both sides of the roadway. Construction is authorized to begin on the first phase in 2020, with additional phases starting in 2022 and 2024.

• Construction of a segment of the Noonday Creek Multiuse Trail, from Shallowford Road in Cobb County to SR 92 in Cherokee. Construction is set to begin in 2022.

• Widening Bells Ferry Road from north of Victory Drive to Port Victoria Way, from two to four lanes. Construction to begin in 2024.

Clayton 

• Widening Battle Creek and Mount Zion Boulevard to 4 lanes with sidewalks, curb & gutter and medians. Construction set to begin in 2020.

• MARTA bus rapid transit service upgrade to existing routes 191 and 196, with construction scheduled for authorization by 2030.

• Widening SR 85 to 6 lanes from SR 279 in Fayette County to Roberts Drive in Riverdale. Will also rebuild the bridge over Camp Creek and add new sidewalks. Construction scheduled for authorization in 2022.

Cobb 

• Widening of Macland Road (SR 360) to a four-lane section in west Cobb. Construction set to begin in 2021.

• Building three multiuse trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Construction scheduled for authorization in 2021.

• Construction of South Barrett Parkway phase three, a new four-lane facility which bypasses a heavily traveled section of Barrett Parkway near I-75 in the Town Center activity center. Construction scheduled for authorization in 2021.

DeKalb 

• A multi-use path along Peachtree Creek corridor in the City of Brookhaven, creating a segment of the larger 12-mile Peachtree Creek Greenway that will connect the Atlanta Beltline and PATH 400 trails. Construction scheduled to begin in 2022.

• Improvements at the North Druid Hills Road and I-85 interchange, offering better access to the Executive Park and the new Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta facility. Currently in design, construction is scheduled for authorization in 2023.

• Address drainage and maintenance on the Ponce de Leon corridor. Construction set to be authorized in 2023.

Douglas 

• Widening Lee Road-South Sweetwater Road to four lanes with upgrades that include curb-and-gutter drainage, urban shoulders, a raised median, and a multi-use trail. Construction is set for a first phase in fiscal 2022, with a second phase to begin by 2030.

• Continued federal funding for the new Douglas County transit system, through fiscal 2021.

• Developing an extension of Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail from Boundary Waters Park to Sweetwater Creek State Park, with construction set for 2024.

Fayette 

• Two-lane bypass around the eastern side of the City of Fayetteville via new alignment and a series of upgrades to existing facilities. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.

• Multi-use trail and bridge over SR 54 linking Piedmont Fayette Hospital to nearby schools, shopping, and healthcare offices. Construction is scheduled to be authorized in 2021.

• Rebuilding a deficient bridge on SR 85 over Whitewater Creek. Construction is scheduled for authorization in 2023.

Fulton 

• North Fulton 

o Express lanes (two in each direction) between North Springs MARTA station to McFarland Parkway. Construction is to begin by 2027.

o Widening McGinnis Ferry Road to four lanes from Union Hill Road to Sargent Road. Construction is scheduled for authorization in 2022.

o Extending the PATH 400 multiuse trail from Loridan Drive to Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs. Construction is set for authorization in 2022.

• South Fulton 

o Improvements to West Broad Street in Fairburn, including sidewalks, crossing medians, on-street parking, a multi-use trail and intersection improvements. Construction is set for authorization in 2020.

o Pedestrian bridge over Camp Creek Parkway, improving connectivity between the Georgia International Convention Center and the City of College Park. Construction scheduled for authorization in 2020.

o Widening Buffington Road from US 29 (Roosevelt Highway) to Rock Quarry Road. This project is scheduled for construction authorization in 2021.

Gwinnett 

• New interchanges on SR 316 at Hi-Hope Road, Drowning Creek Road and Hurricane Trail, part of a coordinated effort throughout the 316 corridor to provide full access control from I-85 to Athens.

• Bike-ped bridge connecting Johns Creek to the Western Gwinnett Bikeway and the City of Duluth.

• Widening Jimmy Carter Blvd. from Buford Highway to Peachtree Industrial Blvd., from four to six lanes.

• New interchange at I-85 and McGinnis Ferry Road. This project will serve existing development in the area, relieve congestion at the nearby Lawrenceville Suwanee Road interchange, and help create a freight corridor between I-85 and Georgia 400.

Henry 

• Western Parallel Connector, a new roadway from Jonesboro Road to Hudson Bridge Road that will provide an alternative to I-75 between Stockbridge and McDonough. Construction expected to be authorized by 2023

• Widening US 23 from McDonough to SR 138 to four lanes, over 7 miles, enhancing mobility between McDonough and Stockbridge. Construction scheduled to be authorized by 2030.

• Widening portions of two major access roads – SR 20/81 and SR 155) from I-75 to downtown McDonough, to provide congestion relief. Construction on SR 20/81 is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2021, while work on SR 155 is set to start in 2024.

Rockdale 

• Sigman Road - The widening of Sigman Road, currently under design, will be extended three miles to provide better access to Rockdale General Hospital and the Georgia International Horse Park. Funding is provided for engineering, with construction scheduled to start as soon as 2026.

• Courtesy Parkway - This road will be extended by 1.5 miles and realigned to provide congestion relief and improved access across I-20. Funding is provided for the purchase of right-of-way, with construction to start as early as 2026.

• I-20 East interchange improvements at SR 138/20 (Walnut Grove Road/McDonough Highway) to provide a safer and more efficient design.Ch

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