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Sandy Springs officials ask for major changes to planned Ga. Highway 400 overhaul

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It’s not the first friction GDOT has faced in its “Major Mobility Investment Program”

a picture of Northridge Road
GDOT’s plans call for large bridges looming over this road.
Google Maps

Part of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s multi-billion-dollar plan to expand metro Atlanta’s highway system is facing more friction from elected officials.

Although the Sandy Springs City Council approved GDOT’s recommendations for the Ga. Highway 400 toll lanes project during a June 18 meeting, elected leaders want to see a few significant changes to the plans, according to Reporter Newspapers.

A few miles north of the North Springs MARTA Station, Sandy Springs officials said they want to nix plans to build flyover lanes at the Northridge Road bridge and instead build the tolled lanes beneath it.

Constituents have complained that creating flyover lanes would be noisy and bring more pollution to the area, according to the publication.

Amending the plans to the liking of citizens and Sandy Springs officials would entail moving the toll lanes to the center of the highway, south of Northridge Road.

But GDOT officials contend that running the lanes below the bridge would be expensive.

Sandy Springs leaders also called for shutting down Pitts Road, which crosses over Ga. Highway 400 just south of Northridge Road, and rebuilding it.

GDOT is already planning to build a new Pitts Road bridge as part of the project, but the current plan is to keep the existing one open while a replacement is constructed nearby.

That move would require four homes to be demolished, per Reporter Newspapers’s report.

This is all part of GDOT’s estimated $11 billion “Major Mobility Investment Program,” a project that aims to curb traffic congestion with more lanes.

And this aspect of the plan for Ga. Highway 400 is hardly the only part that’s raised eyebrows of local officials and residents.

Earlier this month, municipal leaders from Dunwoody and Doraville began signing a community-led petition that calls on GDOT to pump the brakes on part of its Interstate 285 express lanes project, noting the need to step back and look at the potential for mass transit expansion.

In other transportation news, the Atlanta City Council approved legislation last week that creates the city’s first real DOT.

A department of transportation for Georgia’s largest city, as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms put it earlier this year, is meant to serve as a “one-stop shop to better deliver for our city’s mobility future.”