“This interchange is crucial to one of the metro region’s greatest economic engines,” said Deal. “This project provides important economic and quality of life benefits. It improves the movement of people and goods across and within the state, expands Georgia’s role as a major logistics hub for global commerce and assists in creating jobs and growing businesses. Due to limited resources, this model of partnership gives us the tools we need to facilitate major transportation projects.”
“Improvements to the I-285 and Ga. 400 Interchange are the No. 1 priority for the Perimeter CIDs,” said the organization’s President and CEO Yvonne Williams. “The Perimeter CIDs have a track record of success in moving transportation projects forward through public-private partnerships,” citing the Hammond Half-Diamond Interchange at Ga. 400, Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange and the Perimeter Center Parkway Bridge across I-285.
In another step to move the project forward, the improvement districts board chairs John Heagy and Chuck Altimari announced the boards have approved the issuance of a $10 million bond for measurable project milestones. The improvement districts have also approved $500,000 to provide partnership building, research and support for the first phases of the interchange project.
“Improving the I-285 and Ga. 400 Interchange is important for ensuring the economic vitality of the very desirable Perimeter market, the dominant office market in metro Atlanta and an economic engine for the state,” said Altimari, chair of the Fulton Perimeter CID and corporate real estate manager for UPS, whose global headquarters is located in Perimeter.
Central Perimeter is at the center of regional growth in metro Atlanta and one of the largest employment centers in the Southeast — larger than the downtowns of Charlotte, Nashville and Jacksonville. Of the more than 123,000 jobs in the area, nearly 90 percent are filled by commuters.
The Atlanta Regional Commission board has also voted to include $2 million in metro Atlanta’s Transportation Improvement Plan this year to continue engineering project development for the interchange.
“This will position the project to be considered for advancement during the scheduled update of metro Atlanta’s Regional Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Plan next year,” said Williams. “And, recent legislative changes will provide more flexibility in funding and construction for the project.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation is currently developing a cost efficient plan for interchange improvements. The department expects a federal environmental decision in 2015 for the entire Revive 285 project.
I-285 and Ga. 400 partnership members include:
-Perimeter Community Improvement Districts Boards of Directors – Central (DeKalb) and Fulton
-City of Brookhaven
-City of Chamblee
-City of Doraville
-City of Dunwoody
-City of Sandy Springs
-Council for Quality Growth
-Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce
-Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.
Letters of support include:
-U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson
-U.S. Reps. Lynn Westmoreland, Tom Price, Phil Gingrey, Hank Johnson, John Lewis
-Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves
-Georgia Chamber of Commerce.