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Work Begins to Improve North Druid Hills Road Bridge in Northeast Atlanta

Thu February 08, 2024 - Southeast Edition

Map courtesy of GDOT

Construction at the North Druid Hills Road bridge in DeKalb County, Ga., in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta, began Feb. 5 before a planned 90-day road closure in March, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

Contractors began preliminary structure work on the bridge over North Fork Peachtree Creek, just west of the road's junction with Interstate 85, the state agency noted in a news release.

GDOT added that there will be nightly lane closures throughout February while the contractor finishes necessary activities ahead of the three-month-long full bridge shutdown that is set to begin March. The construction schedule is dependent upon the weather, the transportation department said.

Georgia Highway 42/North Druid Hills Road will be shuttered between Buford Highway and West Druid Hills Drive while the project progresses.

As soon as they are available, the start date for the extended closure and the project's planned detours will be announced, GDOT officials told Atlanta's WXIA-TV.

The detours are needed to allow for the accelerated bridge construction, which GDOT said would minimize impacts to the community and motorists through decreased bridge construction time.

Motorists will need to use a 5-mi. detour route that will follow I-85 northbound to Exit 91 for Ga. 155/Clairmont Road, before turning onto Ga. 13/Buford Highway.

Drivers will still have unrestricted access from I-85's Exit 89 and properties next to the bridge work zone during March, according to GDOT.

Current North Druid Hills Road Bridge Built in 1962

The bridge replacement is part of a larger improvement of the I-85 at North Druid Hills Road interchange by GDOT to reduce the number of accidents and improve traffic flow through the corridor.

The current bridge structure was first built in 1962, long before the Atlanta area began its colossal growth.

Crews from Texas-based North Tarrant Infrastructure, the prime contractor, also will add a displaced left turn from westbound North Druid Hills Road to southbound I-85, construct an additional bridge over the freeway, and add a braided ramp from the I-85 Northbound off-ramp to the I-85 Northbound access road, along with the North Druid Hills Road bridge over Peachtree Creek.

GDOT and its contractors spent the first week of operations at the construction site mobilizing equipment and beginning preliminary structure work at the North Druid Hills Road bridge.

The design-build method is being used to deliver the road and bridge project, GDOT noted, which saves time in the overall work timeline by allowing the procurement of one team to complete the design and construction.

Officials with the state transportation agency said on the project's web page that the new North Druid Hills Road bridge structure will be wider and safer for the ever-increasing amount of traffic that travels through the area. Additionally, there also will be larger sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps at the structure's crosswalks.

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