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wks2003x

The New I-75/I-16

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The New I-75/I-16

So as the Georgia DOT gets closer to finally selecting a plan for the I-75/I-16 interchange, more realistic plans have been shown to the public. And while the design has been scaled down a bit, the new I-16/I-75 interchange design is still unusually large and elaborate for such a relatively small city.

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I-16 will be 12 lanes at its widest point.

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I-75 will be 9 lanes at its widest point.

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...Downtown streets and bridges will also be reconstructed across I-16...

Coliseum Drive will be widened to 6 lanes.

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Second Street will be widened to 6 lanes.

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Sound barriers and pedestrian bridges will also be reconstructed. The latest concept alluded to both landscaped brick and metal sound barriers, as well as some interestingly designed pedestrian bridges. Nonetheless, does anyone else think these changes are overkill? The biggest complaint to this design has been the collector-distributor roads that filter out local traffic and allow travelers to completely bypass downtown Macon with no exits. Does the I-75/I-16 interchange really need so many ramps and collector-distributor roads?

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The 16-75 merge needs work, for sure. but collector/distributor roads are WAY too much! All that's needed is for the curves to be "smoothed out" and maybe add one additional lane in each direction.

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What will happen to the railroad track that goes under this interchange? I don't see it pictured in the new rendering. Could this be a possiblility for commuter rail?

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I-75 in Macon is a miserable drive. There are way too many cars on the road, and it feels narrow. 12 lanes might be somewhat excessive, but its not unwarranted. They are no doubt trying to plan for the future, but they rpobably aren't takign into account how the additional capactiy will affect growth in Macon and traffic to and from Atlanta. The answer to both is that they will increase.

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I-75 in Macon is a miserable drive. There are way too many cars on the road, and it feels narrow. 12 lanes might be somewhat excessive, but its not unwarranted. They are no doubt trying to plan for the future, but they rpobably aren't takign into account how the additional capactiy will affect growth in Macon and traffic to and from Atlanta. The answer to both is that they will increase.

I think planning for the future is correct. I hope once finnished this increases Macon's visibility in the southeast and positively affect Macons growth. And hey in 2012 maybe ill actually be able to pass the ppl going 60 mph on my way to work. lol

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The New I-75/I-16

So as the Georgia DOT gets closer to finally selecting a plan for the I-75/I-16 interchange, more realistic plans have been shown to the public. And while the design has been scaled down a bit, the new I-16/I-75 interchange design is still unusually large and elaborate for such a relatively small city.

Slide1.png

I-16 will be 12 lanes at its widest point.

image004.png

I-75 will be 9 lanes at its widest point.

image001.jpg

...Downtown streets and bridges will also be reconstructed across I-16...

Coliseum Drive will be widened to 6 lanes.

image012.jpg

Second Street will be widened to 6 lanes.

image014.jpg

Sound barriers and pedestrian bridges will also be reconstructed. The latest concept alluded to both landscaped brick and metal sound barriers, as well as some interestingly designed pedestrian bridges. Nonetheless, does anyone else think these changes are overkill? The biggest complaint to this design has been the collector-distributor roads that filter out local traffic and allow travelers to completely bypass downtown Macon with no exits. Does the I-75/I-16 interchange really need so many ramps and collector-distributor roads?

This interchange is in much needed for this reworked project, i dont know if you guys are from macon or ever traveled this area during the early morning or afternoon but this is a very chaotic interchange and is too too small for the traffic and activities taken place in this area. I really do feel that this is a good idea for this area of highway because, due to not enough lanes , dense traffic and the sharp curve, it causes a lot of accidents and traffic jams.

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I-75 sucks basically its entire run through Georgia--especially around Macon and of Atlanta. But this project is too massive in my opinion. Twelve lanes for I-16 at its widest point? I'm sorry but that's excessive. Macon's roads are ten times better than they are in Augusta or Savannah (can't comment about Columbus, I don't know). Macon has traffic cameras---no one else in GA has it except Atlanta. Not knocking Macon, it's a great town and I really am fond of it, but it's just slightly upsetting to these road projects going on Macon while other towns get the shaft. And if someone wanted to widen I-20 to twelve lanes across at Bobby Jones Expressway, I'd laugh in their face. It's not warranted anywhere outside of metro Atlanta.

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I-75 sucks basically its entire run through Georgia--especially around Macon and of Atlanta. But this project is too massive in my opinion. Twelve lanes for I-16 at its widest point? I'm sorry but that's excessive. Macon's roads are ten times better than they are in Augusta or Savannah (can't comment about Columbus, I don't know). Macon has traffic cameras---no one else in GA has it except Atlanta. Not knocking Macon, it's a great town and I really am fond of it, but it's just slightly upsetting to these road projects going on Macon while other towns get the shaft. And if someone wanted to widen I-20 to twelve lanes across at Bobby Jones Expressway, I'd laugh in their face. It's not warranted anywhere outside of metro Atlanta.

I've wondered myself, why Atlanta and Macon are the only two cities wired with cameras and monitors for Georgia Navigator. Does any know why? Does it have anything to do with all of the interstate work going on in Macon. This interchange will be under construction at the same time as the I-75/I-475 interchange reconstrution. Macon traffic is going to be horrible for the next 4 or 5 years.

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I-75 sucks basically its entire run through Georgia--especially around Macon and of Atlanta. But this project is too massive in my opinion. Twelve lanes for I-16 at its widest point? I'm sorry but that's excessive. Macon's roads are ten times better than they are in Augusta or Savannah (can't comment about Columbus, I don't know). Macon has traffic cameras---no one else in GA has it except Atlanta. Not knocking Macon, it's a great town and I really am fond of it, but it's just slightly upsetting to these road projects going on Macon while other towns get the shaft. And if someone wanted to widen I-20 to twelve lanes across at Bobby Jones Expressway, I'd laugh in their face. It's not warranted anywhere outside of metro Atlanta.

I have always found I75 between ATL and Chatanooga to be a good drive.

I agree with the rest of your statement.

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I've wondered myself, why Atlanta and Macon are the only two cities wired with cameras and monitors for Georgia Navigator. Does any know why?

I would assume............and don't hold me to this.....the reason why Macon is the only other city that has navigator cameras so far is because of I-75.

It is a major north-south interstate and probably has the most traffic counts outside of metro Atlanta (I-95 from South Carolina to Florida would be my other guess). One role of the navigator is to inform travelers of highway congestion and closures. Most people heading to Florida take the I-475 bypass....I'm sure if there was a major incident on I-475 that it would be helpful for travelers to take an alternative route....I-75. In Augusta, Savannah or Columbus this issue would never arise. Then I'm sure the fact that Warner Robins AFB being in the region plays a role as well.

Why does Valdosta not have cameras and navigation then you might ask? Again...only an assumption...I would think that it's because Valdosta's I-75 does not intersect with another interstate and there is no bypass. I would also think that Valdosta's traffic counts are dramatically lower than Macon's.

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^ I agree with you on that. I-75 is horrible, especially around Macon. But that doesn't totally explain why the traffic cameras are also in places like Riverside and Eisenhower. Don't get me wrong, I feel cameras are warrented on 95 and 75, but not on surface streets--particulary those outside of metro Atlanta. Believe me, they're not needed in Augusta either. We all know where the traffic spots are and it's pretty much the same everday (unless something weird happens) unlike Atlanta where major traffic jams occur througout the day. To me it just seems a blatant waste of money.

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With the mix of year round recreational traffic going to Florida, a growing city population and trucks coming from the Savannah ports, it is a good idea to expand capacity of two interstates serving different types of traffic as the two interstates come together. I cannot see this going all the way to Atlanta but to have this capacity expanded for several miles will allow safety in terms of trucks eventually merging ahead of time. I hope GDOT beautifys this project so it dosent look ugly like the NJ Turnpike.

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The intersection of I-16 & 75 defintely needs to be reworked, but other than that Macon actually has good roads and not much traffic.. I think it speaks volumes that I-75 is only 2 lanes from the 475 split in Monroe County all the way to where it merges with I-16.. Macon actually has roads other than interstates that take people places. Atlanta , with the exception of a few, does not.

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According to Department of transportation, Due to the size and complexity of this project, several years have been dedicated for design activities and environmental coordination. The first phase of the project, the I-16 / Coliseum Drive Interchange, is currently scheduled to begin construction in 2007. Construction for all phases of the project should be complete by 2012.

http://www.i16i75.com/

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Is it me or am I not seeing something? While the road lanes will be pretty extension on these interstates, the interchange didnt look too elaborate to me. The interchange of I-20/I-520 in Augusta, at least from conceptual drawings seems more elaborate than this, with double-decker fly-over bridges and all. Why all the complaining? 75 through Georgia is one of the busiest interstates in the SE, even in rural areas.

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Is it me or am I not seeing something? While the road lanes will be pretty extension on these interstates, the interchange didnt look too elaborate to me. The interchange of I-20/I-520 in Augusta, at least from conceptual drawings seems more elaborate than this, with double-decker fly-over bridges and all. Why all the complaining? 75 through Georgia is one of the busiest interstates in the SE, even in rural areas.

The relatively modest flyovers, although the latest plans call for them to rise as high as Atlanta's Spaghetti Junction, aren't what most people are complaining about (even though it's part of the problem). The big problem is the scale of the rest of the project. I-75 will become as wide as 10 lanes in some places with I-16 widening to 13 lanes through downtown...that's almost as wide as Atlanta's own downtown connector.

If someone tried to plop Atlanta's downtown connector in Augusta, you'd bet some people would be complaining there too.

I do agree that I-75 is one of the busiest interstates in the region, but remember that when I-75 enters Macon it becomes more of a local interstate that serves commuters as I-475 carries most of the long-distance travelers...so some people think it's over the top for a route that carries mostly local traffic.

Beyond all that stuff, people are complaining about the interchange itself for other reasons.

1) Shirley Hills: residents of this affluent historic community (located just north of the interchange) are concerned that the elevated flyovers will bring unwanted traffic noise to their neighborhood.

2) The Riverwalk: The current I-16 goes over the riverwalk. People don't like the idea of a 13-lane highway going over it any better.

3) Demolition/Environmental Concerns: Macon's air quality is quite low...considered by some to be the second lowest in the state (behind Atlanta). [in case anyone was wondering, that's why we started getting smog alerts last year.] Some worry that the interchange would encourage more traffic and make it worse. Several buildings will be destroyed...people have a problem with that too.

Opposition naturally comes with projects like these. And I bet someone's unhappy about Augusta's enormous interchange too.

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The problem here is with GDOT. This organization is very much a one trick pony. Traffic may indeed suck in Macon. I have no doubt about that. But widening the interestates is EXACTLY what Atlanta did, and look what its done for them. Look at the major cities in the North. Most of them don't have interstates wider than 3 or 4 lanes each diection... maybe 5 at some point.

Macon should not widen the interstate to as many lanes and instead invest in transit to get people to their destination. Traffic has never improved in the long run by widening roads.

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Thats insane. What are they thinking? Its pretty clear that the goal is to be just like Atlanta. Lets tear down parts of Macon's neighborhoods and old buildings because the road is more important.

Thirty-three homes in Pleasant Hill will have to be moved or demolished to make way for the wider Interstate 75, including the boyhood home of music legend Little Richard Penniman, which is on Fifth Avenue.

Twenty-one of those homes are now occupied. Many of the houses are on Middle Street, a rundown street on the right side of these pictures. That area will be turned into park land with a walking/biking path along the interstate. The concrete culvert that runs parallel to the interstate on the right side of the 'before' photo will be piped and covered over.

Also on the right side, Fourth and Second avenues, which now feed onto Middle Street, will get cul-de-sacs. Woodliff Street, which also connects to Middle Street now, would get a new access ramp up to Walnut Street, which has a bridge crossing the interstate.

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Thats insane. What are they thinking? Its pretty clear that the goal is to be just like Atlanta. Lets tear down parts of Macon's neighborhoods and old buildings because the road is more important.

Thirty-three homes in Pleasant Hill will have to be moved or demolished to make way for the wider Interstate 75, including the boyhood home of music legend Little Richard Penniman, which is on Fifth Avenue.

Twenty-one of those homes are now occupied. Many of the houses are on Middle Street, a rundown street on the right side of these pictures. That area will be turned into park land with a walking/biking path along the interstate. The concrete culvert that runs parallel to the interstate on the right side of the 'before' photo will be piped and covered over.

Also on the right side, Fourth and Second avenues, which now feed onto Middle Street, will get cul-de-sacs. Woodliff Street, which also connects to Middle Street now, would get a new access ramp up to Walnut Street, which has a bridge crossing the interstate.

Great !!!! This look wonderful, I say bring on the growth......Macon needs it......I wish they could start construction at the beginning of 2008.... Next they need to tear some of them old building Downtown and build a few high rises to go along with the the beautiful new interstate system.....

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Why not keep the old buildings and fill in some parking lots with new high rises?

Some of the old buildings are Ok but a lot of them need to be demolished and build some 12-25 story high rises.....would be very nice..

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Thats insane. What are they thinking? Its pretty clear that the goal is to be just like Atlanta. Lets tear down parts of Macon's neighborhoods and old buildings because the road is more important.

Unless you live here and drive this stretch every day, especially during morning and afternoon rush, I don't think you can understand just how bad this interchange is. And just how dangerous it is. If you look at the plans, and the reasons for the design changes, they do make sense. It's a shame the project has to be such a beast, but the change is needed. The current interchange is poorly designed, very poorly signed, and seems to be confusing to some out-of-towners. It really should never have been built the way it is or where it is. But that can't be undone.

Among other things, this redesign solves the problem of drivers merging onto I-16 westbound from three busy ramps over the course of about 4,000 feet. It corrects the problem of drivers weaving (right to left) across three lanes, in about 2,000 feet, to go from the Spring St. ramp onto I-16 then to I-75 south, and while at the same time in the same stretch other drivers are weaving left to right, going from I-16 west to I-75 north.

It's the exact same story coming from I-75 to I-16 east. Traffic crossing over three or four lanes (left to right) from 75 south to 16 east to take the Spring St. exit, while other traffic crosses the same lanes, right to left, from 75 north to 16 west. When traffic is heavy in the afternoons, and the two ramps to Spring St. back up to the 75/16 split, it's nuts. These new plans address that also.

In the 16 years I've lived in Macon, this is the only location here I would label treacherous. A combination of poor design, drivers unfamiliar with the roads and layout of the exits, certainly a few careless/reckless drivers... it's long overdue for a fix. I'm hard pressed to estimate just how many accidents I've seen take place at this interchange. At least 20, 25. Could be more. I'm talking about accidents I've actually seen occur, not things I've driven up on.

I'm no fan of Macon having the largest interchange in the state outside of Atlanta, but this particular interchange needs a radical redesign, and the new plan (while massive) seems to meet the needs. Having seen the plans, I'm not sure anything scaled down could do so.

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