The I-285 Top End Express Lanes is one of the MMIP projects to improve mobility along the northern portion of I-285 in metro Atlanta, one of the most heavily traveled and congested interstate highways in America. The proposed project would construct new, barrier-separated express lanes in both directions on I-285 from just south of Paces Ferry Road in Cobb County to Henderson Road in DeKalb County, and along SR 400 from the Glenridge Connector to the North Springs MARTA Station. The proposed express lanes would improve mobility and travel-time reliability along the Top End for drivers and improve connections between regional destinations through express lanes that integrate with the greater metro Atlanta express lanes network.
The I-285 Top End Express Lanes will be constructed in two smaller packages to phase construction for improved maintenance of traffic during construction.
After hosting several successful Public Information Open Houses (PIOH) early in 2020, the I-285 Top End Express Lanes Project continues to move toward its next milestones in 2021. The team has been working through the design and environmental documentation stages of project development throughout 2020 under “One Federal Decision” (OFD). A 2017 executive order set the policy requiring federal agencies to process environmental reviews and authorization decisions, prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for “major infrastructure projects” as one decision.
For the I-285 Top End Express Lanes Project, this means identifying and describing a preferred alternative in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This will feature comparative information about the layout, features, and impacts of the alternatives considered, as well as analyses of a broad range of resources, including wetlands, waterways, threatened and endangered species, community resources, historic resources, socioeconomic impacts to adjoining properties/communities, transportation impacts, etc. Field surveys have been underway since earlier this year to capture these details. The draft EIS is expected to be published in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021 and will be made available for a 45-day public comment/review period.
Public Hearing Open House (PHOH) meetings are also being planned and are currently anticipated for Q2 2021. Attendees can learn more about the project and provide their feedback. The draft EIS will also be available for review during the PHOHs.
For more information on the project, please visit https://majormobilityga.com/projects/topend/.