The Jimmy Carter bridge is the heart of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. It is also one of the busiest interchanges along the entire I-85 corridor. When the CID was founded in 2006 it became evident immediately that something was going to have to be done to relieve congestion at this vital access point to our community.
Given the fact that transportation resources are stretched thin already, the CID new that we would have to find an innovative way to relieve congestion for the lowest possible cost.
The CID immediately gravitated toward an innovative design known as a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). The design, which originated in France, has begun to see more and more popularity among transportation circles because of its effectiveness in relieving congestion at interchanges while being relatively inexpensive to construct (due to the fact that you can utilize the existing bridge).
Beyond congestion relief the CID saw an opportunity to turn this piece of infrastructure into a defining, memorable piece of architecture that could enhance the character of the entire community. The CID contracted Peter Drey (designer of the 14th Street bridge in Atlanta) to work with CID staff and a group of community stakeholders to come up with a design that was representative of where the community is now and where we envision it in 10-15 years.
The CID is working in partnership with the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation to turn this innovative design into a reality. Gwinnett County is currently working on two DDIs (the one at Jimmy Carter and another at Pleasant Hill Road and I-85). If you’d like to find out more information on these please visit www.gwinnettddi.com.
The Jimmy Carter Boulevard bridge over I-85 opened ahead of schedule on Sunday, March 29 as a new Diverging Diamond Interchange. The DDI’s innovative design relieves congestion, improves safety, and is less expensive than replacing the bridge. A DDI shifts traffic to the opposite side of the road, making left turns onto the interstate easier and improving the flow of traffic across the bridge.
Construction will continue on the center median and pedestrian facilities while crews finalize the signals, interchange lighting, and pavement markings. The project is expected to be substantially complete in summer 2015. Once the project is complete, the bridge at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 will be Gwinnett County’s second DDI and the third in Georgia.
Until that time, pedestrian traffic should continue to use the detour route of Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Oakbrook Parkway to Center Way to Goshen Springs Road to Jimmy Carter Boulevard and the reverse.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is currently constructing a new “flex lane” on the northbound side of I-85 adjacent to the project. That project is also expected to be complete by summer 2015 and will add a new lane on I-85 northbound from Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Indian Trail Road for use during the afternoon rush hour. The Georgia Department of Transportation project will further improve the flow of traffic in the area.