BRADENTON, Fla. – Atlanta-area businesses have agreed to tax themselves to secure $10 million in bond financing to help reconstruct one of the region’s busiest and most congested interchanges at Interstate 285 and the state road known as Georgia 400.
The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts approved the bonds along with $500,000 for research and support for the project. CIDs are self-taxing districts that use property taxes to help accelerate transportation and infrastructure projects.
The Atlanta Regional Commission Board has also voted to include $2 million in Metro Atlanta’s Transportation Improvement Plan this year to continue engineering and development for the interchange.
The project is estimated to cost $450 million, according to the Perimeter CIDs. Other funding elements were not immediately available.
“Improving the I-285 and Ga. 400 Interchange is important for ensuring the economic vitality of the very desirable Perimeter market, the dominant office market in Metro Atlanta and an economic engine for the state,” said Chuck Altimari, co-chairman of the Perimeter CIDs and corporate real estate manager for Atlanta-based UPS.
I-285 is a bypass loop around Atlanta, and is also referred to as the Perimeter.
The Central Perimeter has become one of the largest employment centers in the Southeast with 29-million-square-feet of office space housing more than 123,000 workers.
Nearly 90% of the jobs are filled by commuters who pass through the I-285 and Georgia 400 Interchange daily. It is also a major route for trucks and shipping.
The Texas Transportation Institute has cited the northern end of I-285 as having some of the worst congestion problems in the nation, and named an adjacent portion of Georgia 400 as the most unreliable commute in the nation, according to the Perimeter CIDs.
The interchange is part of a 12-mile congestion-relief project in the northern portion of I-285 spanning from I-75 on the west to I-85 on the east. Total estimated cost for the project was not immediately available.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is currently studying corridor alternatives and developing a draft environmental impact statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
GA 400 is a 53-mile, north-south route through Atlanta with a 6.2-mile-long tolled section. The project’s bonds will be defeased later this year and tolls will be removed.