Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (CID) in coordination with Gwinnett County Department of Transportation (DOT), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) opened the Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Pleasant Hill Road over I-85 on June 11, 2013. Funded by the voter-approved 2009 SPLOST, this project is the culmination of years of planning by Gwinnett Place CID and their partners to mitigate operational deficiencies of the existing interchange, increase capacity, and provide safety improvements for both pedestrians and vehicles. Over several years, the Gwinnett Place CID funded feasibility studies and conceptual layout plans for the much-needed improvement and ultimate reconstruction of the Pleasant Hill at I-85 interchange.
The DDI at I-85 and Pleasant Hill Road project included several improvements:
- New traffic signals that align with the new lane configurations, and improvements to the signal timing to help traffic flow within the corridor.
- A new outside barrier wall constructed on the outside of the existing bridge deck.
- The construction of sidewalks and streetscapes along the Pleasant Hill Road corridor from Breckinridge Boulevard/Shackelford Road to Venture Drive/Venture Parkway and an 8-foot sidewalk constructed along the median of the bridge, flanked by barrier walls.
The project has not only improved the interchange’s geometric configuration and operational deficiencies but has also increased capacity, and provided safety improvements for both pedestrians and vehicles. An interchange modification report (IMR), completed in 2007 recommended a single point urban interchange as the preferred alternative, at an estimated cost of $56 million. The DDI had a cost estimate of only $7 million. The project saved Georgia tax payers $49 million while providing a 35% reduction to congestion, and improved safety for both pedestrians and vehicles.
The Pleasant Hill Road DDI project stands alone in the state as an example of exceeding the owner’s/client’s needs and also providing value to the citizens in the State of Georgia. It also is notable as the first eight-lane DDI in the United States.
Erick Fry, P.E.
KCI Technologies Inc.
Erick Fry is a seasoned Professional Engineer with more than 22 years of experience successfully delivering transportation solutions for the State of Georgia. In the past two years, Mr. Fry has led multiple projects to construction with a total value over $100 million, which are some of the most highly recognizable and awarded projects in the State of Georgia.