Atlanta Regional Commission approves over $30 million in transportation projects in DeKalb CountyUS 278 in Avondale Estates. Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Atlanta Regional Commission Board has approved $31.29 million in transportation projects for DeKalb County through 2023, according to an ARC press release.
ARC developed the list of projects in close consultation with local governments to meet the DeKalb community’s needs, the release said. All projects are scheduled to be under construction or complete by 2023, with funding from federal, state and local sources.
Some of the key projects include:
- Peachtree Creek Greenway Trail – This project will extend the Peachtree Creek Greenway from the city of Atlanta to North Druid Hills Road, connecting to the Atlanta BeltLine Trail.
- I-285/I-20E interchange improvements – Funding will provide preliminary engineering and design for a total rebuild of this key interchange to improve traffic flow and safety.
- Panola Road improvements – This busy corridor will be improved to include a center turn lane, bike lanes, and sidewalks between Browns Mill Road and Fairington Road. A curve between Salem Drive and Oaktree Trail/Old Panola Road will be straightened, and traffic signals along the corridor will be optimized to improve traffic flow.
- U.S. 278 redesign – U.S. 278 in Avondale Estates will become a pedestrian-friendly “Main Street” with improved sidewalks, new bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings with medians.
The DeKalb projects are among more than 100 across the region funded as part of an update to the short-term portion of ARC’s Regional Transportation Plan, The Atlanta Region’s Plan, at a total cost of $400 million. The ARC board approved the update on June 27.
“These projects address some of the most significant local transportation needs and will help people get where they need to go safely and efficiently,” Doug Hooker, ARC executive director, said. “This will provide more options for many residents and will strengthen our economic competitiveness.”
The potential impact is significant, from cleaner air to reduced congestion. The bike-ped and transit projects will take enough cars off the road to reduce annual vehicle miles traveled in the Atlanta region by 96.3 million miles, which could decrease tailpipe emissions by 19,900 tons per year, the release said.
The $400 million project list is part of $7 billion dollars of improvements that are already planned or under construction through 2023. Many of these are large freeway projects, such as express lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties, and a massive rebuild of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange.
Here’s a closer look at how the $400 million project list will improve transportation in metro Atlanta:
Additionally, the region’s transit providers plan to improve service and meet growing demand. MARTA will establish arterial rapid transit routes in the city of Atlanta (Cascade Road, Cleveland Ave., Campbellton Road, Metropolitan Parkway, and Peachtree Road).
A major expansion of the region’s multi-use trails used by bicyclists and pedestrians is also planned – about 800 miles in all. A major step toward the creation of a truly regional trail network, some of the projects include:
- Atlanta BeltLine – Preliminary engineering for two segments – Lindbergh Center to 10th Street/Monroe Drive, and Glenwood Ave. to University Ave.
- Bob Callan Trail – Design of extension from Interstate North Parkway to just south of Windy Hill Road, creating direct or potential connections to Kennesaw Mountain, the Silver Comet Trail, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, PATH400, and the Atlanta BeltLine Trail.
- PATH400 – The PATH400 trail will be extended from Wieuca Road to Loridans Drive, providing a critical link in the region’s trail network, providing access to major employment centers.
Learn more about metro Atlanta’s Transportation Improvement Program here, including detailed information about each of the projects on the list.