Georgia added fuel to a massive road-building binge in metro Atlanta on Thursday, selecting a contractor to rebuild the I-285 interchange at I-20 east of the city.
The State Transportation Board agreed to negotiate a final agreement with East Interchange Builders LLC, a team led by two of the largest transportation construction firms in Georgia: Archer Western Construction LLC and E.R. Snell Contractor Inc, according to AJC.
The contract is worth $685.6 million. The Georgia Department of Transportation received three proposals to do the work. It selected East Interchange Builders because it scored highest on its technical and financial proposals, GDOT Chief Engineer Meg Pirkle said.
The work will address what a trucking industry group has called one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, the average speed through the I-285/I-20 east interchange is 46.6 mph. That falls to 41.4 mph in peak traffic.
The contractor will build new interchange ramps, add lanes on both highways and replace various bridges. GDOT says the work will smooth the flow of traffic through the interchange and decrease travel times.
The new interchange is one of a handful of major highway construction projects that will transform commuting in metro Atlanta in the coming years. GDOT is already rebuilding the I-285 interchange at Ga. 400. It’s also planning to build toll roads on the top half of the Perimeter and on Ga. 400 and rebuild the I-285 interchange at I-20 west of Atlanta.
Construction on the new I-285 interchange at I-20 east of Atlanta will begin in mid-2023 and finish in late 2026.