Cobb County Prepares For Atlanta Road/I-285 Improvements
The county is currently acquiring right-of-way parcels and construction is set to begin in 2014.
Cobb County is now acquiring right-of-way parcels for the Atlanta Road/Interstate 285 Interchange improvements. Pilot Travel Center is on the list of properties the county will acquire before construction can begin.
The proposed improvements to the interchange include replacing the existing twin bridge that spans the Interstate with a single four-span bridge; constructing an auxiliary lane–also known as a service road or access road– between Paces Ferry and Atlanta roads and adding noise barriers.
The addition of the auxiliary lanes requires lengthening the Orchard Road bridge over I-285. The bridge will be closed during construction and Cobb County will set up a detour route to divert traffic.
Construction costs are being funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Cobb County will use 2005 SPLOST funding to acquire the right-of-way at an estimated cost of $15 million, to pay engineering expenses of about $1.3 million and to pay utility relocation costs of about $500,000.
Of the 37 properties the county needs for right-of-way the Pilot Travel Center located at 4600 South Atlanta Road is the only complete property the county would need to acquire, Ricks said. The other 36 properties implicated in the improvements, some commercial and some residential, would only need to be partially acquired
Cobb County’s District 2 Engineer Bryan Ricks explained that the interchange is congested partly because of the tractor-trailers entering and exiting the gas station. Ricks said these trucks block Atlanta Road while they attempt to make left turns out of the Pilot and also block the turn lanes to the Interstate.
“If we allow them full access just like they have now to Atlanta Road to turn left we’re not fixing one of the big problems, he said. “If we didn’t do that there really wouldn’t be any sense doing the project.”
Janis Killan, the project’s right-of-way manager, said it’s likely that Pilot will agree to the purchase.
“Under the federal guidelines we’re required to offer them a complete take,” she said. “We’d be purchasing all the access roads. At this point, we assume that’s going to happen.”
Construction is set to begin in 2014 and is expected to take about 30 months to complete.