Traffic on I-85 in Gwinnett County.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution file photo
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution file photo

More funding approved for new I-85 interchange in Gwinnett

The Georgia Department of Transportation may be working on a miracle on I-85 in Atlanta — but Gwinnett drivers will have to wait a little while for a new interchange on their stretch of the interstate.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept nearly $6 million in federal funds for land acquisition related to a project that would create a new I-85 interchange near Ga. 324/Gravel Springs Road. The interchange will be about halfway between I-85’s exits for Ga. 20 and Hamilton Mill Road, and has been touted as another way to access the Mall of Georgia area. 

MORE: Read more coverage of Tuesday’s protest-heavy board meeting

Last August, commissioners accepted a separate $2 million in state grant money. With Tuesday’s action, land acquisition for the project is now fully funded, Gwinnett County Department of Transportation Director Alan Chapman told the board. 

The land acquisition process is “expected to begin later this summer,” Chapman said, and construction is expected to start sometime in the second half of 2018.

DOT officials, meanwhile, broke ground last fall on new I-85 express toll lanes in the same area where the interchange will be built. The project will extend the already existing HOT lanes about 10 miles north, from Old Peachtree Road to Hamilton Mill Road. 

It also includes "auxiliary" lanes at Ga. 20 northbound and Gravel Springs Road and at Ga. 20 southbound and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. An express lane bridge will be built at the northbound interchange of I-85 and I-985 as well. 

Channel 2's Richard Eliot reports.

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