I-85 project moving along at 1-year mark

LAWRENCEVILLE - One year since the governor broke ground, the $147 million reconstruction of Interstate 85 at Ga. Highway 316 is ahead of schedule.

"It is amazing to see the changes to the area and the work that has been completed in just one year," said Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope. "This project will change the way people in northeast Georgia travel. It will allow more people to flow through the interchange and allow them to travel through the region more efficiently."

Today marks the first anniversary of the groundbreaking, but crews still have two years of work to do before the project is complete.

New flyover bridges, which will connect Ga. 316 westbound to the right side of I-85 south and to Pleasant Hill Road, are taking shape, and base and asphalt for the new collector-distributor lanes are going down, Pope said.

The project also includes the extension of high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-85 to Old Peachtree Road and construction of HOV lanes on Ga. 316 to Herrington Road.

Pope took advantage of the anniversary to thank the nearly 300,000 drivers who traverse the area for their patience during the construction.

"Thank you for all those times you chose an alternate route or gave yourself extra time or listened to the radio traffic report or checked our Web site, georgianavigator.com, for real time traffic information," Pope said to motorists. "I hope you will take comfort in the fact that we are finished with one year and are working diligently to get done and get out of your way."

Next week, crews will close the inside lane of I-85 south to install a temporary barrier wall at the Old Norcross bridge.

The lane will be closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, if weather allows, from Pleasant Hill Road to south of the bridge.