NORCROSS -- With plenty of traffic and fewer funds coming from the government, business leaders in the Gwinnet Village Community Improvement District are looking for unique solutions to transportation problems.
With a diverging diamond interchange slated for construction next year, officials will unveil plans this week for a continuous flow intersection, bringing the unique design to Gwinnett.
If funding is found, drivers could maneuver to the left side of the road early to turn left at the intersection of Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Buford Highway. The design would be one of the first in Georgia, with another proposal at the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and Ga. Highway 124 in Snellville. (Funding for the southern Gwinnett site was proposed in the failed transportation sales tax, which failed at the polls in July.)
Gwinnett Village CID program director John McHenry said the intersection would cost $8 million, compared to a studied project to creating a grade-separated interchange at the location at a cost of $44 million.
Plus, he said the separation would not serve pedestrians in the community.
"If you can make significant improvements for a lot less, that's the way to go," McHenry said of the CID's efforts to pursue more cost-effective solutions, such as the diverging diamond interchange coming soon to the Jimmy Carter bridge over Interstate 85.
The two designs are similar in that they shift drivers who are making left turns to allow them to turn alongside through-traffic.
"Those turning movements are often what clogs up the intersection, so this definitely works better," he said.
McHenry pointed out that Jimmy Carter's intersection with Buford Highway topped a list of high crash intersections in Gwinnett in a 2006 Atlanta Regional Commission study, the last year for which the information was available.
An open house for the design is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Gwinnett Village CID office at 5855 Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Norcross.