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Home > News > GDOT 400 to I-85 Lane Changes

GDOT 400 to I-85 Lane Changes

Posted: February 26th, 2011 @ 9:21am

February 25, 2011 *

Dear Community Partner,

The Georgia Department of Transportation is pleased to advise you of *a
project on I-85 southbound that will improve safety and ease congestion
created by heavy traffic volume from **Georgia 400 merging onto I-85
**southbound in Fulton County.*

Work will begin Sunday, March 13, 2011 to restripe one lane of
Interstate 85 southbound to produce a dedicated merge lane -- a "free
on" lane -- for traffic on Georgia 400 southbound at its merge with
I-85. The rightmost (outside) lane of I-85 southbound will be restriped
from just south of Exit 86 (Peachtree Street) to the Georgia 400
on-ramp; I-85 traffic will then have three general purpose lanes on the
left and the HOV lane. After the restriping, motorists merging onto I-85
from Georgia 400 southbound will have two dedicated lanes for a much
longer distance. The outside Georgia 400 lane (right exit lane) will end
at the same location where it ends today. Work will be completed by
morning rush hour on Monday, March 14 (weather permitting).

We appreciate your assistance in sharing this information with your
employees, members, customers and neighbors.

The project is the result of the Department identifying alternatives to
ease congestion at this busy interchange. During commute peak times,
motorists on I-85 southbound now contend with heavy Georgia 400 traffic
accessing I-85 lanes, resulting in "lane weave" -- drivers changing
lanes within short distances -- which is a significant safety issue. The
restriping of I-85 will allow Georgia 400 traffic to more smoothly enter
I-85 via a dedicated southbound merge lane, reducing the need for lane

Barriers will be installed and the lane will be restriped to direct I-85
traffic to move to the left from the outside (right) lane several
hundred feet prior to the merge. Roadside signage will also be installed
to warn motorists of the upcoming lane merge and warnings will be
painted onto the pavement prior to the merge point. With these measures
in place, motorists will have adequate notice prior to the point of the
merge and will be able to adapt their driving behavior accordingly.

A GDOT study recommended the restriping solution as the most feasible
and cost-effective strategy to reduce the congestion at the Georgia
400/Interstate 85 southbound interchange. At this time, adding a fifth
southbound lane from the merge point south is cost-prohibitive.

You are encouraged to visit the Department's website ( gov)
for more information about the project, including an animation of how
traffic will adjust and flow in the newly striped lanes.

Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about
this or any other construction project on interstates and state routes.
Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and
travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents,
lane closures and delays due to inclement weather. Callers can also
transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. More information is available at

If you have questions or comments, please contact Mark McKinnon in our
Office of Communications at 404-326-6672 (mmckinnon@dot. or Jill
Goldberg, Deputy Press Secretary,
at 404-631-1828 (jgoldberg@dot.

Gerald Ross, P.E., Chief Engineer
Georgia Department of Transportation

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