Georgia DOT has warned of this coming traffic jam on I-285, and now it’s here. While the lanes are closed on I-285 near Ga. 400, the best advice is to stay away.

If you can’t work from home for up to eight months or rely on transit buses and MARTA trains, we are brainstorming some alternate roads that may be helpful to consider. But two words of caution: Any commute near this construction zone will take longer than you’d expect. And any useful side roads or alternate main roads will also carry heavier traffic than normal, as your fellow drivers follow you on your new detour.

If you missed the news, DOT is closing up to two lanes in each direction for up to eight months between Roswell Road and Ashford Dunwoody Road. That means the interstate will be reduced to three lanes in each direction.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked the state Department of Transportation for suggestions. We also looked to local governments and regional business organizations. So far, the experts are following the lead of GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale, who told the AJC’s David Wickert it’s impossible to recommend any particular alternative routes — because I-285 serves so many people traveling to so many destinations.

“There’s no one right answer,” she said. “You’ve got 250,000 people coming from a different place and going to a different place.”

DOT’s advice?

  • Work from home if possible.
  • Take MARTA if you’re able.
  • Using navigational apps to find the best alternative route for your trip.

And, by all means, avoid I-285 in this area. “I think motorists will quickly find that it is much less stressful and complicated to go around (the interchange) than go through,” Dale said. “Going around may add 20 minutes to your trip, but going through could change your entire day.”

Alternate roads

Here are some ideas that may help you plan a different way to work or home during the lane closures.

Local trips: If your destination is near I-285 and Ga. 400, potential alternate roads include Roswell Road, Ashford Dunwoody Road, Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Mount Vernon, Abernathy Road and Hammond Drive.

Passing through: If you normally use I-285 as the Main Street connecting Cobb County to north DeKalb and Gwinnett, good luck. But alternate routes ITP (inside the Perimeter) include taking I-75 south to I-85 north, or vice versa. Ga. 400 may be of help for getting between Sandy Springs and Roswell, but drivers should expect higher volume, especially during daytime and rush hours.

Potential routes OTP (outside the Perimeter) could include use of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard/Ga. 141, Ga. 140 (Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Holcomb Bridge Road) and Ga. 92.

Transit: Depending on your commute, you may find help from MARTA, Cobb County transit (CobbLinc) or GRTA XPress.

Helpful websites:

Georgia DOT 511

Georgia Commute Options

GDOT traffic cameras near Glenridge Drive

Transform 285/400 has information from Georgia DOT about the I-285 and Georgia 400 construction.

Perimeter Connects has information and resources for those who live or work in the Perimeter Community Improvement District

‘Profound delays’

AJC coverage of the I-285 interchange at Ga. 400

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will report news updates and provide additional helpful information on this project. For updates, follow reporter David Wickert on Twitter @dwickert. For traffic information, follow @ajcwsbtraffic.

Oct. 2022: Lane closures on I-285 to stymie traffic for at least 8 months

Sept. 2021: Major I-285 lane closures near Atlanta delayed

April 2019: Extra work delays I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project

Nov. 2017: Major work begins on one of metro Atlanta’s worst traffic bottlenecks

WSB Traffic Podcast about the I-285 lane closures