The grant to build a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 was approved Tuesday by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.
Construction will begin this spring on the Norcross bridge and is expected to be completed within a year, according to a news release. Gwinnett’s first project of this type is currently under construction a few exits away, at Pleasant Hill Road.
"The Gwinnett Department of Transportation worked closely with the community improvement districts in these areas to design the diverging diamonds," Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, citing the Gwinnett Village CID. "We are pleased to partner with both groups to make mobility and livability improvements."
The DDI design uses the existing bridge more efficiently by switching traffic to the left to allow smooth left turns onto the interstate. Pedestrians will use a new walkway in the median, the release says.
The work involves widening approximately a half-mile of roadway and adding new retaining walls, sidewalks, traffic signals, and curb and gutter. In addition, the timing of other signals approaching the intersection will be adjusted to ensure smooth traffic flow.
"The diverging diamond interchange is a cost-effective solution to relieve traffic congestion," said Transportation Director Kim Conroy. "As with the Pleasant Hill Road project, we estimate this interchange improvement will extend the useful life of the existing bridge by about 10 years with no widening needed."
E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. in Snellville was the lowest of three bidders at just under $6 million. SPLOST funds will pay for the transportation improvement while the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District will fund project enhancements including fencing and landscaping.
"The Gwinnett Village CID business community is excited to partner with Gwinnett County on this project," said Gwinnett Village CID Executive Director Chuck Warbington. "The project will significantly reduce traffic congestion in an innovative way and transform the interchange into a gateway to Gwinnett that will certainly continue the message that this is a great place to invest and do business."
- Video: Diverging Diamond Interchange at Jimmy Carter Bridge
- Diamond Interchange in the Works on Jimmy Carter and 85
- GDOT Holds Public Meeting about Diamond Interchanges
- Meeting to Discuss a New Interchange at Jimmy Carter
- DDI Construction Contract Awarded
- New Jimmy Carter Bridge Design Unveiled