Monday, October 3, 2022

GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) announces I-285 Lane Closures to be in place for six or more months.

Transform 285/400: I-285 Lane Reductions Overview

The City of Dunwoody is working with the Georgia Department of Transportation, Perimeter Connects, and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) to make everyone in our city aware of big changes to I-285 as part of the Transform 285/400 project. The impact on interstate and local traffic will be profound, and it will last for many months. It will require planning and patience.

GDOT's I-285 lane closures website

The first phase:

Beginning as early as THIS Saturday, October 8, the contractor for GDOT will close the two innermost eastbound lanes on I-285 between Roswell Road and Ashford Dunwoody Road for bridge demolition and reconstruction at Glenridge Drive, State Route (SR) 400, and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. 

Two weeks later - currently planned for October 22 - the two innermost westbound lanes along that stretch will be closed.

These lane closures will continue 24/7 for roughly the next four months. Then, the interior lanes will be reopened and closures will move to the two middle lanes in each direction for approximately four more months. 

*Click on the image below for a larger view.

only one side 285 closure

The overall plan:

GDOT contractors are planning a major reduction in lanes on the top end of I-285. The impact on traffic will be significant. Traffic in both directions will be reduced from five lanes to three lanes from Roswell Road to Ashford Dunwoody Road 

The closures will allow crews the space they need to replace I-285 bridges over Glenridge Drive, GA400 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. GDOT estimates the bridge replacements and associated I-285 eastbound and westbound lane closures will take at least eight months to complete.

*Click on the image below for a larger view.

I-285 Lane Reductions Phase 1 Graphic - small for web

“The traveling public should expect major disruptions to their daily commutes and driving routines during this time and should be prepared for profound delays on I-285, potentially adding an hour or more to daily commutes,” Georgia DOT Alternative Delivery Program Manager Marlo Clowers, P.E., said. “We urge motorists to leave earlier, utilize navigation apps to select alternate routes to stay away from the construction area, and consider alternative commute options. If traveling through the area, always pay attention and use extreme caution.”

Lane closure schedule confirmation will come after certain I-285 construction milestones open to traffic, ensuring motorists know what to expect and when. These anticipated openings will provide some additional capacity for vehicles and maximize all new connecting lane availability outside of the existing interstate lanes.

Key milestones include:

  • I-285 westbound connecting lane from Peachtree Dunwoody Road to past Roswell Road 
  • SR 400 northbound and SR 400 southbound to I-285 eastbound connecting lane to past Ashford Dunwoody Road

The lane closures are expected once these key milestones are open to traffic and updated signage is in place.

  • Phase 1: Inside lanes will close on I-285 in each direction between Roswell Road to Ashford Dunwoody Road, so crews can reconstruct the interior portions of the I-285 bridges over Glenridge Drive, SR 400, and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. A minimum of three lanes will be open in each direction. This phase will take approximately four months.
  • Phase 2: Traffic will shift to the inside lanes providing width for three travel lanes and the existing outside lanes will close to traffic so crews can demolish and reconstruct the exterior portions of the bridges. This phase will take approximately four months.

Dates may change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are advised to expect delays, exercise caution, and reduce their speed while traveling through work zones. Additional project information is available on the project website.  

Sign up for email updates directly from GDOT.

The GDOT video linked below is very helpful. it provides a detailed overview of the project.

Why can’t GDOT close just one lane in one direction or close lanes just at night?

Constructing the bridges with a single-lane closure would prolong the bridge construction. It would also result in traffic (with a high percentage of trucks) very close to the work zone. Additionally, closing the lanes just at night isn’t possible due to the amount of construction activity and equipment taking place in the closed lanes.

Will there still be nighttime closures?

Yes. The construction team will continue to perform work at night, which often requires additional closures. There could be just one lane open in a single direction during the nighttime hours. 

Perimeter Connects has great resources for local workers managing these lane closures.

Ask for options:

Take a minute to Ask for Options using a simple web form created by Perimeter Connects, which will help you explore every possible alternate route based on where you live and work. Perimeter Connects will even cover the cost for you to try it out.

Share the ride:

Perimeter Connects can help you find a carpool buddy who works in the same area, lives nearby and has something in common with you. Try to carpool once, and you'll get $50.

Plan ahead and skip the red:

The graph below shows the highest volume times going to and from I-85 at the N. Shallowford Road underpass at I-285. Green denotes normal speeds. The darker the red, the slower the traffic.

*Click on the images below for a larger view.

average speeds shallowford

The next graph shows the highest volume times going to and from I-75 passing over I-285 at Northside Drive.

average speeds northside

GDOT has some additional ways to lessen the impact:

  • Choose an alternate commute: MARTA and Xpress serve the Perimeter area and are great alternatives to driving through the area. If possible, work remotely to avoid taking trips throughout the corridor. Reach out to Georgia Commute Options for help finding alternative commute options or for help planning alternate routes.
  • Use a wayfinding app: Free traffic and GPS apps can keep you informed about slowdowns in real-time and suggest alternate routes. Use GA 511 or your favorite navigation app when preparing to drive in the area.
  • Plan ahead: If you must travel through the area, give yourself as much time as possible in anticipation of heavier congestion.

Dunwoody High School Wildcat Theater presents Neil Simon's Rumors from Oct 13 - 16.

Dunwoody is so lucky to have talented DHS thespians bring Neil Simon’s “Rumors” to us! 

One of Neil Simon's most celebrated plays, "Rumors" will be performed by the Dunwoody High School Wildcat Theatre. This comedy is set during a dinner party in the upscale Palisades neighborhood north of New York City in the 1980’s. Upon arrival, four couples find the host bleeding and the hostess and staff are missing. Now what? Hilarious chaos erupts from a series of mistaken identities, cover ups and ridiculous situations. Neil Simon was one of Broadway’s most successful playwrights, writing such hit plays as “Barefoot in the Park” and “The Odd Couple.”

Book your tickets today.... Rumor has it .... tickets will sell out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Community paper shredding event benefiting Malachi’s Storehouse in Dunwoody on Sat October 1st, thanks to Realtor Greg Schlam for hosting.

Greg Schlam, a local Keller Williams agent and Dunwoody resident, is partnering with St. Patrick’s and Malachi’s Storehouse to hold a community paper shredding event between 9am and Noon on Saturday, October 1. The event will be held in our parking lot directly across the street for the main entrance to Brook Run Park.

Saturday October 1st
9 a.m. to Noon
St. Patrick's Episcopal Church
4755 N. Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Community members who wish to shred documents are encouraged to bring a canned protein item (tuna, chicken, peanut butter, ham, etc.) or a monetary gift to be donated to Malachi’s Storehouse.

Side note from John: First, a special thank you to Greg for hosting this event and his generosity towards Malachi's Storehouse. 

Second, many of you may not recognize Greg's name, but I do believe many of you have seen his work or even talked to him in the past.  Greg has a hobby of creating art pieces out of old license plates and is a regular at the Dunwoody Art Festival, so if you are interested in discussing real estate or his creative art, please reach out to him at either of his websites or just pick up the phone and call,

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday September 19th - very light agenda


September 19, 2022 - 6:00 PM

Agenda 6 pm  - City Site Agenda 

City Council meetings are live-streamed on the City of Dunwoody’s Facebook page

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom,  or 
phone 14702509358,,81524025938#

You can access the video after the meeting on the City of Dunwoody’s YouTube page.


Public comments - in person 3 min each / 30 min max with additional at end of meeting if needed. 

Resolution Appointing a Member of the Citizen Advisory Capital Improvements Committee - Bob Fiscella

Resolution of Approval of EPD Recycling, Waste Reduction, and Diversion Grant Application 

Discussion - Resolution to Declare Obsolete Equipment in the IT Department as Surplus

Discussion - MARTA Parking Deck Mural Project

Discussion - Mission and Vision Statements

Megan Fitzgerald, a Senior at Dunwoody High School earns the Girl Scout Gold Award with her project entitled “Planting Seeds for Life”.

Megan Fitzgerald is a senior at Dunwoody High School and has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten.  She just completed her Girl Scout Gold Award entitled “Planting Seeds for Life”.

During the quarantine, Megan passed time growing plants to liven up her room. To share her love of gardening with other students, she founded a new club at DHS: the Horticulture Club. The club met for educational presentations (thanks to Dunwoody North neighbors Chuck White and neighborhood Certified Georgia Naturalist Sarah Sanke) and worked on projects to beautify the Dunwoody area.

Working with the Donaldson Banister Farm, Megan created a landscape plan for the area around the flagpole, then raised money to purchase plants, and installed them with the help of Horticulture Club members. The club also partnered with the DHS HART Club to decorate and install birdhouses throughout the trail behind the DHS baseball fields, and to install additional plantings in the DHS courtyard.

As these projects grow, and the Horticulture Club continues in the upcoming years, Megan hopes that the seeds she planted will take root to keep Dunwoody growing and to inspire other students to continue learning!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Dunwoody Citizens Advisory Capital Improvements Committee meets tonight at 6 pm - public comment is available.

At our last meeting the City Council created a Citizens Advisory Capital Improvements Committee which shall be a temporary committee, charged with responsibility of reviewing Dunwoody’s capital improvements needs and providing input and recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding capital needs and projects. 

Meetings are scheduled to take place weekly on Wednesday evenings at City Hall from 6 to 7:30 starting September 14 & concluding Wed, December 7th.  

The proposed members as nominated by Council to the Mayor to discuss capital desires of community are as follows: Remi Bullard, Abby Lesorgen, Steve Ellet, Joe Martinez, Su Ellis, Mereca Smith, Brian Gee, and Sarah Smith, as Max Leighman (declined).

The focus of these committee meetings is determining the City's Future Capital Needs (not the funding of the final determined list - that comes later by Council) we welcome community participation in making public comments as to what investments you the community want to see as far as Capital Improvement Needs are desired.  

Are there specific intersections that need to be redesigned? Do we need pocket parks deep in neighborhoods?  Should we be focusing more money towards intersection and crosswalk safety?  Do we want more sidewalks or maybe Paths though our community? Is Green or Public Spaces missing in our community and if so where? Is public art worth a public investment?  Should we four lane Mount Vernon into a true highway or maybe we need to invest in a Dunwoody Space Port to reduce congestion?  Do we need a natatorium, a gymnasium and a velodrome all in one specific park, or maybe you just want to say we need none of these things.  We welcome those comments too!

I am excited to have this committee meet to have these important discussions as I believe there is a diverse mix of young faces along with a few more established members of our community.  As a person who gets to weigh in and set priorities after hearing the outcomes of these meetings, I personally don't want to overly influence the discussions of the members of this committee in any way as my list above was intended as being thought provoking and not my personal desires.  But that being said, you may want to lend your voice as to what you believe the capital priorities of this city should be.

As an example, I have a true story.   Many years ago, an organized group of skateboarders from all around Atlanta once attended a public meeting held by DeKalb County at Brook Run Park and at this meeting everyone received three post-it notes to use as votes of what amenity they wanted constructed at the new Brook Run Park.  Most attendees spread their three votes around, but the hundred skaters all voted for only a skate park therefore with 300 votes a skate park was installed along with a playground that I believe came in second place.  I guess what I am saying is sometimes you are governed by those who vote, those who speak up or make their desires heard.

As your City Councilman, I am always listening be it one on one conversations, reading social media comments, seeing email campaigns, reading newspaper articles, etc but I will also be interested in the final results of this committees work in order to assist me in setting capital improvements as desired by the community.

Based on the published agenda, there is no live stream of the meeting nor remote public comment available, but the meetings are open and public comment is available both before and after the main discussion.  You will need to show up in person to participate.