The Atlanta Regional Transportation Investment Act (TIA) includes a list of transportation projects to be performed around the state. These projects are to be funded with a penny sales tax, known locally as the T-SPLOST, that will be presented to voters during the general primary in 2012 – though a fight still looms to move it to November 2012.
The T-SPLOST is estimated to bring in almost seven billion dollars in available funds for the TIA to implement a host of projects. The list of projects will be reviewed and finalized by the Department of Transportation in October. A “yes” vote in 2012 would authorize these projects to begin moving forward in 2013, with a goal for concluding the final list of projects within ten years.
This is the second of a three-part series. The first part looked at the public transit projects that have been included in the TIA’s wish list. Part 2 looks at roadway projects within Atlanta and the I-285 bypass, or “inside the perimeter.” Part 3 will look at projects “outside the perimeter” of Atlanta.
Driving has long been the preferred method of travel and commuting among Atlantans. The sprawl of the Atlanta area means that the interior roadways are jam-packed with traffic for a good two to three hours each day. When I commuted to work in downtown Atlanta, the interstates were clogged between four and seven P.M. every day, and local roads were so full that it was difficult to get anywhere around downtown quickly in the morning or the afternoon. Just one accident would have a serious effect on many other roads feeding into midtown and downtown Atlanta.
Furthermore, getting around the city also meant long waits. I-285 is perpetually backed up along its northern and eastern ends in the afternoon, to the point that many people decide it is just easier to work in the suburbs if at all possible rather than commute into the city.
The TIA’s list of projects for “inside the perimeter”, or within the I-285 bypass that is viewed as the demarcation line between urban and suburban areas, includes the following projects:
- Interchange improvements along I-285 at the GA-400, I-85 North (Spaghetti Junction), and I-20 West intersections
- Intown bridge replacements by the CSX Rail line and East Line of MARTA
- New I-285 interchange at Greenbriar Parkway
- Road improvements on PIedmont and Roswell Road in Buckhead
- Ashford Dunwoody Road corridor improements
- Buford Highway and North Druid Hills Road renovation for pedestrian and landscape improvements in DeKalb County
- New Connector between Buford Highway and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
- The first of several Intelligent Transportation Systems, located near Perimeter Center at the top end of I-285.
The overall costs for these projects pales in comparison to the $3.3 billion earmarked for public transit and all of the projects outside of I-285. The price tag for these projects comes to just under one billion dollars.
- Clifton Road – Decatur Corridor and CSX Railroad intersections
- Glenwood Road corridor improvements