Downtown Connector paving project starts Monday; construction headaches ahead

Intown Atlantans who have joked about frequent paving headaches outside the perimeter: it’s about to be your turn.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said the Downtown Connector will undergo a massive repaving project starting Monday. They’ll resurface all northbound and southbound lanes between the top of the Connector and University Avenue – south of Interstate 20 – and the project isn’t expected to end until April of next year.

They’ll also repave a stretch of I-75 in Clayton County on the south side from the I-285 interchange to Jonesboro Road. The Connector project comes with a price tag of $13.8 million, while the ClayCo project will cost $9.5 million, according to the DOT.

My thoughts and prayers are with commuters who’ll pass both construction areas twice a day during this project.

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If you’re looking for some good news, here it is: lane closures related to this project will only occur on nights and weekends. Still, if you’ve seen roadwork around Atlanta, you’re well aware that it doesn’t take road crews actively working on a street to slow traffic to a halt. The presence of orange cones and some paving equipment is more than enough to do the trick.

Aside from the headaches, this paving project is long overdue. Parts of the Connector’s pavement have been worn down so much that it is almost completely gone in some areas. It’s not a great message to out-of-town travelers when they pass through the city on roads that are extremely bumpy and poorly paved.

But unlike those drivers, we’ll have to deal with the Connector paving project until it’s done, and that might be a little painful.

Photo: Flickr/Gregor Smith

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