SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Driving on Highway 400, no matter what time of the day, can be a hassle. Whether it is at night or during the day, you add construction to that mix, and it is just difficult.
“In the mornings, it is jam packed. In the evenings, it is jam packed. It is a headache,” said Benjamin Ready.
Ready knows all about maneuvering through the 400/I-285 Interchange. “I live in the Alpharetta area. I drive it every day,” said Ready.
But now, for Ready and hundreds of thousands of drivers, there is another layer to this traffic maze.
Starting on Saturday night, the flexible shoulder lanes, or FLEX lanes to many, will close for good. “It is the worst headache. They are working and just shut down the lanes,” said Ready.
“We initially went into this weekend anticipating the formal closure of those FLEX lanes on Northbound and Southbound from about Pitts Road to Holcomb Bridge,” said Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) spokeswoman Natalie Dale.
Dale said it is a part of a massive project.
“Because we are rebuilding these three bridges, which are all fifty plus years old, new designs, multi-use paths, pedestrian, and bike capabilities, these three bridges sort of in a row, are being rebuilt over the next year or year in a half. A lot of that lane and shoulder is needed for construction.”
Dale is asking drivers to find an alternative route during the construction project and pack a lot of patience. Meanwhile, Ready said that is a lesson he is learning the hard way.
“Like off my exit, exit 10 off 400, if you got somewhere to be like at 8 o’clock in the morning, you need to leave like 5 o’clock, because the traffic is going to have you jammed up.”
Dale said once the bridges are completed, they will work on the GA-400 express lanes.
According to GDOT, drivers should expect a permanent closure of shoulder lanes with speed limits reduced to 55 mph from Spalding Drive to Holcomb Bridge Road.
The closure will be from GA-400 southbound from Holcomb Bridge to Pitts Road overpass and GA-400 northbound from just south of Pitts Road overpass to Northridge Road until 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
Drivers are asked to be aware of the speed limit and to seek alternate routes if possible.
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