FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — New Georgia 400 express lanes promise to ease congestion. The 16 miles of tolled lanes, mostly elevated above the current main travel lanes will also include new, dedicated exits.
But some neighbors in Roswell near a proposed new interchange between the Chattahoochee River and Holcomb Bridge Road fear the express exit will cause more traffic and harm their way of life.
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The planned exit would feed onto Grimes Bridge Road that many already use as a short cut through Roswell, from the expressway and East Roswell into Cobb County.
“This is the most neighborhood-centric road in all of Roswell,” said neighbor Karan Kaplan.
She and other neighbors say they felt deceived by the city’s previous leaders and Georgia Department of Transportation, that entered into an agreement to place the new interchange at Grimes Bridge in 2019.
“The former mayor made that decision without soliciting consensus from the neighborhoods,” Kaplan said.
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Now three years later, the newly formed Citizen’s Transportation Advisory Commission brought up the issue at their meeting last week.
Current Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson then sent a letter Friday to the GDOT Commissioner asking for help… stating, in part: “We respectfully request GDOT’s help with plans or ideas to limit access to Grimes Bridge Road and encourage the use of the express lanes to and from SR-140/Holcomb Bridge Road.”
In an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Wilson said while it may be too late to have the exit taken out completely, he’s listening to neighbors and wants to limit the amount of cut-through traffic across the city.
“Is there any way you’ll sit down with us and look at some opportunities to minimize the amount of traffic that will potentially hurt our residents along the Grimes Bridge corridor?”
In a written statement, GDOT said their response to Roswell is being drafted and will likely be sent next week. But the Ga. 400 express lane project is well past design and engineering phases and the time for public input to change anything was years ago.
It reads in part: “The result of many years of coordination is the project we have today, which is currently in active procurement. We will continue to work with the City of Roswell, as well as other communities in the corridor, to address concerns and continued coordination throughout the life of the project.”
But some neighbors aren’t giving up.
“It’s years away. It’s not too far down the road. It’s just a question of doing the right thing, and I think this mayor realizes this is a mistake,” said Kaplan.
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