Work on metro Atlanta’s biggest highway construction project will continue into 2024.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says major construction on the new I-285 interchange at Ga. 400 will be completed this year. But some “minor” work — including repaving — will continue into next year.
Exactly how long depends on the weather this winter, GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said. Paving must be done in a certain temperature range. If the winter proves to be too cold, work could drag on into the middle of 2024, Dale said.
Motorists have been living with the construction since 2017. The project originally was to be completed by 2020. But several factors have extended the work.
GDOT added the replacement of several I-285 bridges to the project after construction began. The idea was to replace the bridges while the area was already under construction.
The bridge work continues, reducing the Perimeter to three lanes in each direction.
Workers also found unmarked utility lines that needed to be relocated. Labor shortages and supply-chain problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic also slowed construction.
The interchange work involves building new flyover ramps between the highways and new lanes to ease the merging of traffic. GDOT says the $800 million interchange will improve traffic flow once all the work is done.
In the meantime, motorists can expect more delays. GDOT says motorists should avoid the interchange if possible and leave early if they must travel through the work zone.
In other words, keep doing what you’ve been doing for nearly six years.