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Ga. Highway 400 toll lane plans threaten townhomes with demolition

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Report: Officials in Sandy Springs have been secretly negotiating a deal

a map depicting the interchange plans
Homes shown under the red line could be torn down to make way for an interchange.
City of Sandy Springs, via Reporter Newspapers

Some Sandy Springs residents could be displaced if plans for a new toll-lane interchange on Ga. Highway 400 move forward.

Eight townhomes in a residential complex on Persimmon Point would be bulldozed to make way for a road connecting nearby Crestline Parkway to toll lanes on the state expressway, according to an investigation by Reporter Newspapers.

And while the threat of uprooting residents is controversial in and of itself, even more controversy swirls around how the toll lane project has progressed behind closed doors.

Earlier plans called for the interchange to be built along Mount Vernon Highway, just north of the L-shaped Crestline Parkway that runs to the east of Ga. Highway 400.

But documents obtained by Reporter Newspapers show that officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the City of Sandy Springs had been discussing plans to instead link the toll lanes to Crestline since as early as last July.

Those plans, however, weren’t made public until January.

Sandy Springs officials, according to reports, were reluctant to pursue the Mount Vernon Highway option—GDOT’s preference—since it would cost the city an additional $23 million.

City spokespeople did not tell the publication if they’d reached out to Persimmon Point residents, but said they were awaiting the results of traffic studies before committing to fund the Crestline project.

An alternative plan to link the toll lanes to Crestline and Barfield Road—just west of the highway—was also set aside because it would be too expensive, although officials could save the Barfield connector option for the future.

Joining Barfield Road with Ga. Highway 400 would also entail razing an office building, more homes, and other structures.

After Reporter Newspapers’s investigation was published, Georgia state Rep. Deborah Silcox, who represents Sandy Springs, told the publication she’d be lobbying for a meeting with GDOT and city officials to get “straight answers” about the plans for the toll lanes interchange.