City of Atlanta Department of Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza and Senior Public Works Manager Nursef Kedir address concerns about upcoming road projects during a June 20 meeting at the Masonic Temple in Buckhead.

Members of the Loring Heights neighborhood hoped their June 20 meeting with Georgia Department of Transportation officials would delay conflicting Buckhead road projects, but residents couldn’t put the brakes on the plans.

GDOT and city of Atlanta officials did promise to be responsive to residents’ concerns and complaints and to provide enough signage to minimize traffic headaches.

The meeting at the Masonic Center on Peachtree Street drew a handful of residents and city officials. The center is next door to the Amtrak Station, the site of one of two projects residents say were poorly scheduled.

DOT plans to close Deering Road where it connects to Peachtree adjacent to the train station so a contractor can repair the parking deck, which is actually an old part of the Peachtree Road Bridge crossing I-85. The detour route includes Collier Road and Northside Drive – but GDOT plans to improve that corridor as well.

Both projects are expected to begin later this summer.

Ron Grunwald, with the Loring Heights Neighborhood Association, on June 14 brought the issue to the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods attention.

As GDOT and city officials on June 20 explained their plans for additional signage and strategic road closures to minimize the inconvenience, Grunwald grew frustrated.

“What about the actual realities of what’s going to happen on the ground here,” Grunwald said. “It’s never considered.”

But transportation officials said they are hesitant to reschedule any project, particularly when the money for projects is available.

“There are going to be inconveniences,” Atlanta Department of Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza told residents. “There is going to be some pain we have to share.”

Mendoza promised robust traffic control, plentiful signage and said 17th Street will be the preferred detour during construction.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com