Gov. Nathan Deal got stuck in traffic a few months ago, so North Fulton is getting another lane on both sides of GA 400.
Deal announced funding for an additional lane north and south between McFarland Road and the toll plaza in his State of the State Address. It was a secret he'd been keeping for months, having worked on the proposal with Brandon Beach of the GA Department of Transportation Board. Deal is the chairman of the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA).
All the funding is coming from a combination of motor fuel dollars (GDOT) and toll money from SRTA, Beach said. So you might not like , but at least some of that money is being used to ease your commute.
As long as you don't have to drive after dark, the construction won't be too much of a problem as all work will be done at night.
If you thought those merge lanes at exits 7 through 11 were excessively long, you'll appreciate how GDOT will get another through lane. Those lanes will be used to create the additional travel lanes.
Between the Chattahoochee River and I-285, Deal said the state plans to implement flex shoulders in each direction, allowing traffic to keep moving during peak rush hours.
New concrete will be poured to add capacity. Since shoulders–known as an emergency lane when your car breaks down!–are narrower than traffic lanes, adding a few feet in width may be necessary.
But a manager with Rural/Metro ambulance company, which often uses the to-be-eliminated shoulder for emergency calls, recently told the AJC he had concerns about the project and what it means for emergency personnel trying to get through traffic.
Once the flex lanes are available, don't try to speed down them as police may need to close them down in case of emergencies. That has some emergency personnel and motorists concerned.
Perhaps as soon as the end of March drivers just traveling within North Fulton will have an alternative in Westside Parkway, as the final section between Webb Bridge Road and Old Milton Parkway should be completed. The North Fulton Community Improvement District–headed by Beach– to pay for right of way and GDOT is paying for construction with motor fuel will be completed by the end of March.
The state will have to advertise for bids, which Beach expects within the next 60 days. And it has to be warm enough to work with concrete and asphalt–and dry, too. Construction should take six months.
Do you like Gov. Deal's and Brandon Beach's plan to add a lane on GA 400 at the expense of long merge lanes and shoulders?