A controversial concept to link Ga. 400 to I-675 by digging under east Atlanta has for a couple of years found its way onto some policymakers’ wish lists. But this month it found itself someplace better: Among the state Department of Transportation’s top toll projects pitched to private investors and road-building companies.
...“The tunnel is the one project that absolutely, head and shoulders above every other P3, moves the needle the most on congestion mitigation and mobility,” said David Doss, who chairs the state Transportation Board’s committee on such projects.
However, I know I'm not going to live long enough to see this happen. For the last fifty years, Atlanta residents have been fighting with the GDOT to keep these roads from being built. The odd arrangement of the area interstates makes more sense when you know what the original plans were.
BLUE ROUTE: I-675 Of course Ga 400 and I-675 were meant to be one continuous route through Atlanta. They would both have connected to that stretch of I-20 that runs nearly north-south at Glenwood. But a lot of money lives at Druid Hills. A tunnel? Well, I wouldn't have thought the MARTA north line tunnel was feasible, so sure, I'll buy it.
RED ROUTE: I-420 Both ends of the existing Langford Parkway (nee Lakewood Freeway) make it obvious that the road was intended to go further. For all I care it still can: There's quite a bit along the proposed route that would benefit from being demolished.
GREEN ROUTE: I-475 The area's most notorious aborted road project is the one that was supposed to connect downtown Atlanta to Athens via Stone Mountain. Every time I drive Ponce de Leon, I weep at the traffic load it is forced to bear, and the skinny little parks alongside that represent the land GDOT had acquired for the project. Now, of course, it cannot be built without moving the Carter Center, which sits exactly where the I-475/675 junction was supposed to be. Damn hippies.