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Traffic changes in Oakwood
I-985 exit ramp opens as one closes
A motorist comes down the new northbound entrance ramp from Atlanta Highway to I-985 Tuesday. - photo by Tom Reed

Motorists beware: Traffic patterns are changing around Interstate 985 in Oakwood.

The state Department of Transportation has opened two ramps at the new Exit 17, including a northbound on-ramp Tuesday afternoon, and were set to close a northbound on-ramp ramp at Exit 16 this morning.

DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said she was pleased with traffic flow Tuesday as the on-ramp to Interstate 985 from Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 opened.

"It went real well," she said. "I saw the first motorists use it, and they were bright-eyed drivers, looking around. It’s a new view as you come to the interstate."

Also, as part of an overall $75 million road makeover in the area, the state reopened the Park-N-Ride carpoolers lot on Wallis Road.

Motorists might experience another emotion, however, if they are hoping to get on Interstate 985 from Mundy Mill Road/Ga. 53.

Pope said that crews were to begin early this morning closing that on-ramp, as they move toward creating a new ramp that is set to open by March 1.

"All those signals are timed together, so when we remove that left-turn arrow from people getting on northbound, it affects all those signals all the way past Chick-Fil-A," she said.

The Chick-Fil-A restaurant is at the corner of Atlanta Highway and Mundy Mill Road/Winder Highway.

District Engineer Russell McMurry said, "The business community on (Ga. 53) needs to know that (road) will not be affected.

Customers will have full access to all of the businesses."

Motorists traveling eastbound on Ga. 53 can get to I-985
northbound by using Thurmon Tanner Parkway in front of Gainesville State College and the new Ga. 13 northbound ramp at Exit 17.

Westbound motorists on Ga. 53 can either continue on to Thurmon Tanner or turn on Atlanta Highway and use the new ramp to go north on I-985.

Last week, the state opened the on-ramp to Exit 17 south on I-985.

The overall project, which began in June 2006, also involves widening Mundy Mill and Atlanta Highway and building three new bridges. The projected completion date is Feb. 10, 2010.

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