I-16/I-75 Improvement Project
Advisory Committee Meeting Summary
April 27, 2000

Advisory Committee Participants:
Lynn Cass, Macon Bibb Co. Transit
Sid Cherry, Downtown Council
Conie Mac Darnell, Newtown Macon
Guy Lachine, Ocmulgee Nat'l Monument
Eugene Dunwody, Dunwody, Beeland, Azar,Walsh & Matthews
Daniel Fischer, Caution Macon
Mike Irvin, Norfolk Southern
Regina McDuffie, Centreplex
Paul Nagle, Chamber of Commerce
Johnny Wingers, Bibb Co. EMA

Project Team Participants:
Joseph Palladi, GDOT
Angela Alexander, GDOT
Rebecca Gifford, GDOT
David Miller, GDOT
Genetha Rice-Singleton, GDOT
David Grachen, FHWA
Brad Hale, MAAI
Todd Hill, MAAI
Christine Lee, MAAI
Tim Heilmeier, HNTB
Liz Sanford, Sycamore Consulting
Denise Watts, Sycamore Consulting

Gary Adams, Macon Police Dept.
N. Pietrzak, Macon Citizen

Discussion Summary

Ms. Liz Sanford opened the meeting with a review of the agenda, rules of discussion and self-introductions.  Committee members were introduced to Ms. Genetha Rice-Singleton, who is the new project manager for the I-16/I-75 Improvements Project and informed that Ms. Angela Alexander, previous project manager, had been promoted to Assistant State Urban Design Engineer.

After an overview of basic traffic engineering terms and standards by Mr. Palladi, Brad Hale began reviewing the preliminary concepts presented at the first Advisory Committee meeting.
Concept 1 - Focuses on minimal impact to the area east of Coliseum Drive including Ocmulgee National Monument.
Concept 2 - Avoidance of braided ramps and includes signals at cross streets
Concept 3 - Texas U- turns at Coliseum Drive
Concept 4 - Left hand exits to avoid braiding ramps
Concept 5 & 6 - One- way pairs and left hand exits to avoid braiding ramps

The concept used by GDOT to negotiate the contract cost is a collector-distributor system along I-16.  It uses braided ramps and adds lanes in each direction on I-75 in order to achieve lane balance.  Mr. Grachen stated that an ATMS system could also assist in directing traffic during events at the coliseum.   Mr. Palladi stated that elements from different concepts could be combined for a preferred concept.  The preliminary concepts presented are for illustration and discussion only at this point.

Mr. Darnell asked if the number of exit ramps could be increased to provide more access to downtown Macon.  Mr. Palladi reminded the group that adding additional interchanges could create unsafe weaving sections due to close spacing of ramp terminals.  He pointed out that Macon is fortunate to have a street grid system that helps in the distribution of vehicles exiting the interstate.

Mr. Lachine suggested adding a half diamond interchange on I-75 at Riverside Drive just south of the I-16/I-75 interchange.  Several committee members agreed that access to the interstate from Riverside Drive would be desirable.  Mr. Palladi reiterated that additional ramps could create unsafe weaving movements.  Mr. Lachine asked why the distance between ramp terminals for the proposed I-16 interchanges could be less than the distance between suggested ramps from Riverside at I-75 with existing ramps at Hardeman Avenue.  Mr. Palladi stated that the concept drawings for I&345;16 are not final and that the exact footprint of the project has not yet been determined.  Mr. Hale added that the proposed ramps for the I-16 interchanges connect with proposed collector-distributor roads, which have a slower design speed than the interstate.  This would allow closer ramp spacing without creating an unsafe weaving movement.

After this discussion of the concepts, Ms. Sanford led the group in a discussion of the pros and cons of each.  Mr. Lachine stated that from the point of view of the Ocmulgee National Monument, the six new concepts were better than the current concept because each proposed less impact to the monument.  The following summarizes the basic comments from this group exercise:
  • A Compact design is a desired feature
  • The 2nd Street exit in the current design is preferred
  • Access to Coliseum Drive from multiple directions is desired
  • Less impact on Ocmulgee National Monument is important
  • Pedestrian facilities are desired
  • Aesthetics are important, especially at ingress and egress points

"Parking Lot" Discussion Items

Additional comments and questions that could not be addressed at this meeting due to limitations were added to the "parking lot".  They include:
  • Is it possible to increase the number of on/off ramps?  Are exceptions ever made?  Can traffic be distributed into the grid road system?
  • How will the new design access the entrance to the Centerplex?
  • Would a half diamond interchange at Riverside Drive and I-"75 alleviate any of the traffic approaching I-16?  A Parking & Circulator study now underway might tie into this project.
  • How will the proposed Fall Line Freeway Interchange with I-16 affect this project?
  • Mr. Darnell pointed out that efficiency vs. usefulness is another primary issue that should be evaluated.  Mr. Palladi agreed that effectiveness and speed are issues.  He also stated that other factors, such as aesthetics, noise, and lighting, are important.  Photos of various landscaping, noise and retaining wall options were posted for the committee to review during their group discussion.  Brief responses to non-agenda topics from the last meeting were provided in the handout.

In closing, Mr. Palladi stated that the team would continue to look at the environmental impacts in their concept development process.  He also informed the group of a meeting on May 4th to discuss the commuter rail project.  Ms. Sanford informed the committee that they are being asked to provide more comments on the concepts at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned to an unspecified date in June.  The location was yet to be determined.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this summary, please contact the project team by way of the project web site or hotline.

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