The construction work to convert the Riverside Drive and I-285 interchange in Sandy Springs into roundabouts will begin this summer and continue into November, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

A new rendering of the final design of the Riverside Drive/I-285 roundabouts released by GDOT.

Utility relocation work for the project has been underway since February, but now the actual roadway work is ready to start. GDOT said that the contractors, Baldwin Paving Company and Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, recently completed the design.

The $5.6 million project will convert the existing signalized ramp intersections to single-lane roundabouts. Two lanes will feed into the roundabout, with one lane used to enter the roundabout and one lane used for right turns. The project also includes sidewalks on both sides of Riverside Drive; landscaping and decorative lighting; and a rehab of the existing Riverside bridge over I-285.

Construction will take place both day and night, but lane closures will only take place on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and on the weekends from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. One travel lane will remain open at all times, except during bridge maintenance work, when all lanes in each direction will close and a detour will be in place.

The landscape work will continue into 2018, according to GDOT spokesperson Annalysce Baker.

The project is controversial, with local residents questioning whether roundabouts will improve traffic congestion in the commuter-heavy area. GDOT says the roundabouts will be safer and previously issued statistics reporting 73 crashes in the interchange in 2008 through 2012.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

4 replies on “Main construction to start on Riverside/285 roundabouts”

  1. When this was proposed one of the reasons given was there use in Europe.
    True but what also exists in Europe is drivers education. Real drivers education with skills practiced, graduated licensing and never would a 16 year old be driving a Suburban or Muscle car. This is an issue ‘Merica here needs to consider, seriously.

    What also exists in Europe is passing lanes. Yep, remember those dashed white lines that used to exist? They are for those who are realtors going ten mph under the speed limit, elderly who still have a license but can’t maintain speed, people in $100k sports cars who feel the need to ride the brakes at every meaningless bend in the road. The dashed lines allow those who can drive, have proper training (arrived here from europe or other measures).

    How about those basic rules that the local SS Judge at traffic court will give men under 25 further paid classes to attend when they get a ticket but the middle aged woman who tells the judge “but I slowed down for the stop sign and the officer still gave me a ticket” gets a reduced fine and sent on there way. A reduced fine and sent on there way is also what Texting gets you and both of those offenses can and do result in death or serious injury. Maybe it’s time to send the adults to driver classes and stop reducing there fines. Look into how much $$ is lost in reduced fines to adults for offenses that kill.

    The next thing that would greatly reduce traffic in all these, now, overdeveloped neighborhoods would be two lanes on roads like Riverside and elsewhere. Which of the “cut thru” roads are ear marked for lane addition?

    We can only hope that an education program on how to use roundabouts is in the works. Amazing it is that it’s possible to drive 400 Km from Madrid to the Coast on a two lane road without ever having a traffic jam as cars stay right except to pass while here in GA 400 is a cluster **** on the best of days.

  2. Another wasteful project by SS who is intent on spending lots of money on stupid things. You could hire 2 traffic officers to man the 2 intersections during peak times which is way cheaper. As an ex: pay each $100,000 per year for 5 hours work at most per weekday. Total cost is $200,000 per year. At that rate, it would take you 25 years before you blew through the $5.6mm cost. Of couse you needn’t pay that much salary but if you did, SS would be way ahead financially esp since this intesection will eventually need officers to sort it out. You can’t just roundabout your way out of traffic congestions here in Atlanta area. The $5.6mm could have been used for athletic facilities for kids. At this pont, we should have ample fields located in north, central and south ss for use for soccer, lacrosse etc with various programs operating on them. Should also have a nice indoor swim facility for swimand dive teams, rehab use, recreation. SS has a populationof 80.000 and it is silly for thismany filks ti have to truck to a Y in small, far Chamblee. With an additional 50,000 residents innext door Dunwoody, these facilities would well used by the combined 130,000 residents. Maybe get a Y to locate in SS with adjacent fields that city canbuy and donate. This is what is needed with funds not wasting it on $5.6 roundabouts to nowhere. Use imagnation and creativity to help citizens not just throw money at silly rod projects. Sorry for typos-on a phone and doesn’t allow corrections.

  3. These round abouts are being constructed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, not the City of Sandy Springs. The city leaders are not happy about them and had little, if any, input in the construction. This is a state project and as I understood it, the goal of the state was to get cars off of 285 in a more efficient manner. There was no concern for the citizens of Sandy Spring and our daily commutes. Your complaints should be directed to your Georgia Senators and Representatives and not the City of Sandy Springs.
    To my knowledge, there were no City funds used in the construction.

  4. Laurie — the city had the opportunity to avoid the GDOT project that was being “forced” down our throat by spending about $1.1M of its own money (that number is close, not exact).

    The city had a $12M+ surplus last year.

    If the city council wanted to not have roundabouts, they could have afforded it with 3 weeks worth of surplus.

    Don’t carry their water. At least 1-2 of the councilmen were against it, former councilman mcdonald being one of them if memory serves .

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