The planning and engineering process began by identifying and defining a transportation need within the Macon community. Based on accident and traffic data, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) recognized the need for improvements to the I-16/I-75 interchange. Proposals to correct the deficiencies of this interchange have been in the development process since the early 1980's. In 1998, GDOT hired a team of consultants led by Moreland Altobelli Associates, Inc. to validate the project concept, conduct environmental studies, and to provide preliminary engineering for the I-16/I-75 interchange project.
To aid in the development of a project concept that would best meet the goals of the community, a list of specific areas of concern was developed based on comments received from the Advisory Committee (a panel of local civic and business leaders). This list included the following categories: safety, driver expectancy, congestion, constructability, cost, property impacts, environmental impacts, cultural resources, aesthetics, and pedestrians. All design alternatives considered were graded and compared based on the above criteria.
On August 3, 2000, GDOT and members of the Advisory Committee agreed upon a preferred concept alternative for the I-16/I-75 interchange improvements. This concept was displayed to the public at the Public Information Meeting held on October 24, 2000.
Between August 2000 and January 2003, the project team prepared several engineering studies for the preferred concept alternative including:
In February 2003, the Macon City Council passed a resolution requesting GDOT to "consider all reasonable alternatives" with the goal of reducing the overall project scale. Also in early 2003, FHWA requested several changes that would improve safety and mobility on the interstate mainline, but would also increase the project footprint.
In response to the requests by both FHWA and the City Council, the GDOT project team halted work on the preferred alternative and studied several new designs. In June 2005, GDOT and FHWA agreed to move forward with a new concept alternative.
Preliminary Engineering and Environmental studies were conducted for the new design between June 2005 and October 2007. Also during this period, close coordination occurred between the Department and the Pleasant Hill Community. (Detailed accounts of all coordination meetings with Pleasant Hill can be found on the Public Involvement page - Click here). A mitigation plan was developed for this neighborhood which included, but was not limited to, construction of a park and improvements to several local streets.
A draft Environmental Assessment (EA) was approved by FHWA on October 22, 2007, and a public hearing was held on December 11, 2007 at the Macon Centreplex (Click here for details).
was completed in March 2008, however, environmental work continued (including
fine-tuning of the Pleasant Hill Mitigation Commitments) until June 2010.
Right of Way Acquisition of the properties, needed for construction, was completed in 2013.
Community Outreach for Noise/Visual Barrier Aesthetics was concluded in August, 2014.
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