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I-85 landscape project gets long-awaited green light

SUWANEE -- City officials made a collective sigh of relief this week as the long-awaited Interstate 85 landscaping project moved a step forward.

At Tuesday's meeting, the City Council awarded a bid to the Brickman Group for $285,845, which includes installation and one year of maintenance. The project is a mixture of landscape and hardscape, and will have 11 small plazas near the corners of the interchanges and north bound and south bound ramps from I-85 to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, city Planning Director Josh Campbell said.

There will also be three plazas where Sawmill Road meets Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Campbell said, and a variety of benches and trash cans. The landscaping will include 250 trees, 6,000 shrubs, and some sodded areas.

Campbell said the timing of the project, which is expected to begin in October or November, works well with the planting season, but also coincides with recent business activity in the Gateway area.

The QuikTrip location opened in the spring, and an Ultra Car Wash and Advance Auto Parts are under construction and expected to open soon. The city has also scheduled a ceremony on Sept. 10 to open its new police substation and training facility near 85.

"We're starting to get a little momentum, and money invested in the area. The economy overall is picking up, and we're seeing that things are happening," Campbell said. "We wanted to contribute."

The Gateway area has long been a priority for city officials. And during the 20/20 strategic vision discussions, city residents also pegged it as the top goal for planning, and how the residents want the city to grow.

The project was initially discussed before the initial SDS lawsuits were filed in 2009, and then when the SDS dispute began, the city was unable to get permits to complete the project, Campbell said.

"Obviously we're pleased it's finally getting to move forward," he said.

Comments

JohnGalt 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, the residents of Gwinnett County should be so pleased. What the H-E-Double-L do we need with 11 small plazas near the corners of the interchanges and north bound and south bound ramps from I-85 to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road? And the three plazas where Sawmill Road meets Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road for a variety of benches and trash cans? Are you kidding me? For what? For people to have a place to hang out after purchasing their booze from the adjacent liquor store? Or to rest after they finish their shopping spree across the bridge at the sex toy store? $285,845 for this crap, and you wonder why the people of Gwinnett County are fed up! Don't get me wrong; I don't have a problem dressing up the interchange a little bit, but this is beyond ridiculous. LOL, idiocy certainly has no boundaries with you people does it? Perhaps you could provide a booth staffed with government employees to act as a drive thru for these two businesses before they get on the interstate and drive down our government provide HOT lanes!

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jack 1 year, 7 months ago

This landscape project will most certainly make my rush hour commute quicker, safer, and less frustrating.

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jjbod1 1 year, 7 months ago

Lmao, I think "Jack" was making a joke.

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R 1 year, 7 months ago

I guess you folks haven’t packed a picnic lunch and spent a couple of hours watching the cars get washed in the summer sun.

It’s so colorful and relaxing…

And the project comes with 1 year maintenance!

So your taxes can pick up the slack in year 2 till whenever.

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Mack711 1 year, 7 months ago

Who cares what the exit and entrance ramp looks like. Most traveling on the interstate are to busy driving to look. Do you really think any driver will stop and look at the landscape? Probaobly not, so there for this is a waste of tax payer money just like the roundabout in Duluth, no body cares eccept for the company installing it. This will be a money pit later.

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