Traffic in the areas of north Midtown and south Buckhead is not great, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse when Deering Road is closed for approximately six months beginning on Monday, Jan. 7.
The reason – to replace the sinking Amtrak station parking lot near the intersection of Deering and Peachtree Street – is clearly understandable. The result – the elimination of a major cut through for motorists between Peachtree and Northside Drive – will result in additional traffic congestion issues in an area that is already overloaded with vehicles.
Georgia Department of Transportation Metro Atlanta District Engineer Rachel Brown told Patch last year when discussing the project, “We realize this impacts your life. It impacts your community and the way you live. We want to get it done as fast as we can and get out of your life.”
Residents of the impacted neighborhoods such as Loring Heights and Brookwood will be able to use Deering Road, but all others will need to use alternate detour routes. Those include the already traffic heavy Collier Road in Buckhead and 17th Street through Atlantic Station, where the signal lights aren’t exactly in sync and traffic currently putters to maneuver smoothly through.
"Obviously the Deering Road closure will make an already dificult rush hour commute considerably worse," said Brookwood resident Amanda Cucher.
But it could’ve been worse as a Northside Drive improvement project, which GDOT last year had intended to start at the same time as the Amtrak parking lot project, won’t begin now until after the Amtrak project has been completed, which for now is slated to be by June 30, 2013.
The Northside Drive improvement project includes among many items the conversion of reversible lane between I-75 and Collier on Northside to a southbound lane.
In late 2011, the Midtown-based Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Amtrak station on its 2012 list of 10 Places in Peril in the state. Not long after, GDOT closed off the station’s parking lot because the platform for the bridge that the lot sits on began deteriorating. It’s the same bridge that stretches over the train tracks as well as the interstate at the Brookwood curve.
Beginning next week, workers will begin reinforcing the structural integrity of the entire bridge, but while they do so, expect motorists to slowly acclimate to the Deering Road closure as they use detour routes.
Do you use Deering Road on a regular basis and if so, how will its closure affect your commute?