Provided by Susan Long with the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts
The Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Ashford Dunwoody Road and I-285 initiated by the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) has been chosen one of the top 10 finalists in the 2013 America’s Transportation Awards competition held by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The DDI was among 10 finalists that received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests representing each part of the country. The Georgia Department of Transportation, a partner in the Ashford Dunwoody DDI, entered the project in the regional competition where it was selected a winner in the Ahead of Schedule, Small Project category.
Now the DDI is competing for the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. The Grand Prize will be awarded by a panel of judges. The People’s Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Online voting began Sept. 4 and will continue through Wednesday, Oct. 2. Individuals are welcome to vote up to 10 times a day for their favorite projects.
“We’re very pleased to see national recognition for Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange,” said Yvonne Williams, the PCIDs CEO. “We thank our DDI partners – GDOT, the State Road and Tollway Authority, DeKalb County and the City of Dunwoody – for joining together with us to reduce traffic congestion in a creative, cost-effective way. We encourage area residents and visitors to visit http://americastransportationawards.org and click on the VOTE NOW button on the right side of the page so that the DDI can win the People’s Choice Award.”
In 2009, the PCIDs invested $100,000 to hire engineering firm Moreland Altobelli Associates to find an immediate, low-cost way to improve safety and the extreme congestion at the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road Interchange. The PCIDs secured the funding from SRTA and DeKalb County for the engineering and design, which was completed by Moreland Altobelli, and GDOT funded the $4.6 million construction contract.
Williams noted that preliminary before and after data shows that the travel time for northbound peak morning commutes has declined nearly 30 percent and the southbound p.m. commute time has decreased 22 percent. Safety has improved as well for both motorists and commuters. This was accomplished for approximately $6 million compared to a complete reconfiguration cost of $170 million and the project was completed ahead of schedule, Williams said.
The winners of both the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award will receive $10,000 each, which must be donated by those state DOTs to a charity or scholarship of their choice. The awards will be presented Oct. 20 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Denver.