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Summer Construction - Recap
A few months ago, the Transform 285/400 Project team outlined work activities to take place during summer construction and contractors have been working diligently to advance the project forward. Great progress was made as crews began constructing the second phase of the Mount Vernon Highway bridge, installed a new configuration by combining the SR 400 northbound exit ramps to Abernathy Road eastbound and westbound, and started the rock blasting on I-285 eastbound.
 

Significant progress has also been made on construction of noise barriers in the SR 400 corridor. More panels have been set on the noise barriers along SR 400 north of Spalding Drive and a new retaining wall was started just south of Spalding Drive. The updated noise barrier schedule is available here
 
As we move into the fall season, construction crews will continue additional rock blasting along SR 400 southbound near Hammond Drive. The blasting will allow crews to begin construction on another one of the 154 walls.
 
Additionally, bridge crews will work to complete the tallest ramp bridge in the I-285/SR 400 Interchange-SR 400 southbound to I-285 eastbound, which is more than 80 feet at its highest elevation. This bridge is expected to open to traffic the third quarter of 2020. Opening this bridge will be the first step in preparation for a major traffic shift along I-285 to accommodate further bridge construction.
 
To stay up-to-date on construction progress, visit the project website and subscribe to the Traffic Impact Report for weekly updates.
 
Transform 285/400 Project Website: http://www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SpecialProjects/I285SR400
Transform 285/400 Traffic Impact Report: http://eepurl.com/gm-rvn

 
Communication Vital to Easing Construction Challenges 

Georgians and people worldwide were directed to shelter at home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year. Some industries came to a standstill during this unprecedented time. However, maintaining America's road infrastructure was deemed essential and Georgia DOT continued work on the Transform 285/400 project while focusing to ensure the health and safety of team members and the public. Georgia DOT employees, consultants, and contractors held to the Department’s commitment and mission by carrying out project activities working from home and in the field to maintain forward momentum.

Despite traffic counts during the quarantine showing that travel within the Transform 285/400 corridor was significantly reduced, not restricting multiple lane closures on the project was a priority for Georgia DOT in order to accommodate the need for essential workers, emergency medical vehicles, and freight to move uninhibited throughout the project limits.

The Transform 285/400 project area is home to several hospitals and medical facilities. As such, they are some of the project’s key stakeholders. Frequent coordination with them is vital to ensure that staff members, emergency vehicles, and patients are able to safely access area medical facilities.

Northside Hospital is a major project stakeholder that continued to provide essential medical services during the pandemic’s shelter-in-place period. Fiona Nemetz directs environmental services, parking, safety, and security at the hospital. “During the construction process, access has been extremely challenging pre-COVID-19, however that has eased up during the pandemic,” she said.

Although no specific adjustments were made to hospital operations during the pandemic, construction impacts under normal circumstances were managed well due to communications. “The DOT team met with our leadership early on and the communication has been excellent since that time. We are then able to notify hospital staff of impending change[s],” Nemetz continued.

She’s looking forward to the finished result of the interchange. “Once completed, we hope that the project provides better access to Northside [Hospital],” Nemetz said.

 

Bridge construction over Peachtree Dunwoody Road near Northside Hospital’s new Interchange parking lot, April 2020.
Aerial photo of construction in the Perimeter area, May 2020.
Fiona Nemetz, Northside Hospital, Director of Environmental Services,
Parking, Safety and Security.
What’s Happening At: I-285 and SR 400
Click the photo below to check out drone video footage of blasting on I-285 Eastbound. 

Georgia DOT construction partners have begun the controlled blasting of rock along I-285 eastbound from Roswell Road to Glenridge Drive during the day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. The blasting is expected to occur for approximately two months and is necessary to allow contractors to begin constructing a collector-distributor (CD) lane. Traffic pacing will occur on I-285 eastbound and westbound, and traffic on Glenridge Drive will be stopped.
 
Traffic pacing will occur at the following locations:
  • I-285 eastbound at Riverside Drive.
  • I-285 westbound at Ashford Dunwoody Road.
  • SR 400 southbound ramp to I-285 westbound at Hammond Drive.
  • SR 400 northbound ramp to I-285 westbound at Johnson Ferry Road.
Traffic will be stopped at the locations below:
  • Glenridge Drive northbound and southbound at the on-ramp to I-285 westbound.
  • Glenridge Drive northbound at Johnson Ferry Road.
  • Roswell Road on-ramp to I-285 eastbound.
Additionally, daytime blasting of rock will occur on SR 400 between Hammond Drive and Abernathy Road. The blasting is anticipated to take place for four weeks and is necessary to allow contractors to construct a retaining wall. Traffic pacing will occur on SR 400 northbound and southbound between Hammond Drive and Abernathy Road and stopped on Hammond Drive.
Traffic pacing will occur at the following locations:
  • SR 400 northbound from Hammond Drive to Abernathy Road
  • SR 400 southbound from Abernathy Road to Hammond Drive
 
Traffic will be stopped at the locations below:
  • Hammond Drive from Glenridge Drive to Peachtree Dunwoody Road

This month, we shine the employee spotlight on Jose Ortiz Zayas, who is the project manager for the Self-Perform Bridges on the Transform 285/400 project. He oversees half of the 33 bridges in the project, and serves as a liaison between the contractors and crews.

Jose graduated from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. In the past, he’s worked on residential, commercial, and infrastructure projects. Before joining the Transform 285/400 project, he was certified as a bridge inspector for the Delaware Department of Transportation (DDOT).

The thing Jose has enjoyed most about being part of the Transform 285/400 team is the people he works with. He said, “Construction is a very dynamic field and when you work with a group of people as diverse as the group we have here (both in the office and on the field) it just helps to develop your interpersonal skills.”

Jose believes his team’s best accomplishment is getting Bridge 21 done while jumping through many hurdles between design, constructability, and availability of work. “I think our team is very resilient and we’ve managed to push through every obstacle that we’ve encountered,” he said.

Q2 2020 Project Progress Video and Photos

Check out progress made on the project during the second quarter of 2020 in the video link below.

Click Here

Take a look at these photos that show how far along construction has come in the I-285/SR 400 Interchange and on Mount Vernon Highway. To view the latest construction photos, visit our project gallery here.

Georgia DOT is acting to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These are unprecedented times. While we at Georgia DOT are committed to you
and our mission, we are also focused on ensuring the health and safety
of our team members and the public. #WorkingForYou
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