Yesterday the Georgia DOT opened two new ramps onto GA-400 at Hammond Drive. The opening marks the completion of a $17 million project begun in 2008.
Early in my career I spent a few years working at the Concourse office park, right next to the king and queen buildings. It was a miserable experience. Half my commute was spent on the surface streets of Sandy Springs before even getting onto GA-400. Oh how I would have loved this on-ramp back then.
Allow me to use this occasion to put the money into perspective. When you start throwing millions of dollars around, the scale tends to get distorted.
$17 million is going to go a long way towards helping traffic in Sandy Springs. It’ll also save a ton of time for many folks commuting there from north Fulton and Forsyth.
On the flip side, the proposed T-SPLOST would fund a MARTA extension to Holcomb Bridge at a staggering cost of $839 million. This is without factoring in cost over-runs, which are almost certain for a transit project like this.
How many projects on the scale of a Hammond Road project could be funded for that kind of cash? Nearly fifty if my math is correct. Would you like Rucker Road widened? How about Windward, Kimball Bridge, McGinnis Ferry or Highway 9? Pick about fifty of them to trade for a few miles of MARTA track.
Remember that the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area already has four MARTA stations, yet their surface streets are hopelessly clogged morning, noon and night. For the small price of $17 million, thousands of cars will be removed from roads like Peachtree Dunwoody, Barfield and Abernathy.
There’s plenty of low hanging fruit left to be harvested. Let’s get to picking!
Photo Credit: Markhoward (creative commons)