Can the interchange of I-285 and I-20 be redesigned to relieve traffic?

Can the interchange of I-285 and I-20 be redesigned to relieve traffic?

The Georgia Department of Transportation is narrowing its search for a contracting team to overhaul the design of one of the nation’s worst traffic bottlenecks.

The DOT has selected two finalists to redesign the interchange of interstates 285 and 20 west of Atlanta, Meg Pirkle, the agency’s chief engineer, told members of the State Transportation Board this week. The interchange has been ranked the fifth-worst bottleneck in the country by the American Transportation Research Institute.

Legacy Infrastructure Contractors and West Perimeter Contractors were short-listed for the project last month. The DOT will negotiate with both road building consortiums after issuing a request for proposals later this month, Pirkle said.

“We are very excited to have two qualified teams to move forward with this procurement,” she said.

The board approved a joint agreement with the State Road and Tollway Authority in April to move forward with the work.

The nearly $1 billion project will involve removing the left-hand entrance and exit ramps at the I-285/I-20 West interchange and building a westbound collector-distributor system from the interchange to Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Lanes will be added along I-20 from Factory Shoals Road to Hamilton E. Holmes Drive and along I-285 from Donald E. Hollowell Parkway to MLK Jr. Drive. Several bridges also will be replaced.

Bids will be due during the first quarter of next year, and the DOT will announce a “best value proposer” during the second quarter, Pirkle said.

The DOT also is in the midst of redesigning the other I-285/I-20 interchange east of Atlanta. Construction on the $685.5 million project is due to start later this year.

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