During a construction kickoff Sept. 29, Gov. Sonny Perdue told a group of Sandy Springs and Perimeter DeKalb public officials and business leaders that the nearly $18 million half-diamond interchange at Hammond Drive and GA 400, will provide a gateway to quality development and jobs in the corridor while combating future transportation challenges.

Construction is expected to start in October to build entrance and exit ramps from Hammond Drive to GA 400 and replace the four-lane Hammond overpass with a nine-lane, higher bridge to meet current and future traffic volumes.

“This improvement is a testament to the tenacity, drive and dedication of the Perimeter CID’s board members and President and CEO Yvonne Williams,” said Perdue.

The project had been planned for more than 15 years to ease traffic in one of the most congested areas of Metro Atlanta, but the Perimeter CIDs collaboration with the state jump started the project, which was the only one let by the Georgia Department of Transportation in the last quarter of 2008.

“The Hammond Drive/GA 400 interchange project is a perfect example of the private and public sectors’ cooperating on a much needed transportation improvement,” said GDOT Commissioner Vance Smith, who also attended the kickoff event. “This project would not have happened right now if not for the financial contribution of the PCIDs,” Smith said. “We are excited about this interchange and look forward to a continued relationship.”

Through self-imposed additional commercial property taxes, Perimeter commercial property owners are contributing $5.5 million for a northbound entrance ramp onto GA 400 and a southbound exit ramp.

The GDOT is funding the cost of the bridge. Sandy Springs also partnered on the project by financing the PCIDs’ contribution through the city’s development department, saving the PCIDs half a million dollars.

“This is the kind of public-private partnership we want to see take root all around Georgia,” said Perdue.

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos called the new interchange and bridge “a great improvement to mobility. Hammond is really going to solve congestion. This is the kind of project we needed to build.”

— John Schaffner