This is the final design of a project to widen the Roswell Road bridge over I-285. (Click to enlarge.)

Commuters will feel a little bit of pain during the next few months as a contractor hired by the Georgia Department of Transportation begins widening the Roswell Road Bridge over Interstate 285.

But city and state officials promise the work will be worth it.

The $3.57 million project was approved for construction in April of 2011. It will involve expanding the bridge from five lanes to six. The extra lane will provide dedicated left-turn lanes onto the I-285 entrance ramps in both directions on Roswell Road, GDOT reported. It will also widen both on-ramps from one lane to two. The phase commuters will notice the most will begin in February, according to GDOT District Engineer Bryant Poole. The project is expected to be completed by the end of October.

“Utility work has already begun,” Poole said during a Jan. 17 open house about the project. “We’ve got to do the substructure work to do the bridge.”

Most of the work will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to GDOT. There will also be some weekend work. There will be some lane closures, but GDOT’s plans call for those to happen at night or during other “non-peak” periods is possible.

City spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said people are generally understanding about the temporary inconvenience the project will create.

“We always like to see projects underway that are going to enhance the quality of life,” Kraun said. “We’ll feel a little pain and have a lot of gain at the end.”

Sandy Springs Public Works Director Kevin Walter said he was feeling good about the pace of the long-awaited project.

“It’s going to be really positive and it’s not going to inconvenience the public too much,” Walter said. “It’s planned well. It’s a quick schedule, which I think is good.”

Roger Rupnow, a Sandy Springs resident who attended the open house, said he is hopeful the project would make things easier on commuters who often wait in long lines to enter onto I-285.

Rupnow said he had hoped the city would take the opportunity to dress the bridge up to look more like an entrance into Sandy Springs.

“Obviously, they’ll have a limited budget,” he said.

By the numbers: I-285/Roswell Road bridge widening

Project goals: Widen Roswell Road bridge over I-285 from five lanes to six lanes; widen both on-ramps from one lane to two

Cost: $3.57 million

Contractor: C.W. Matthews

Lane closures: Some lanes closed, during non-peak periods if possible.

Work schedule: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., some weekend and night work

Estimated completion date: October 31, 2012

Source: Georgia Department of Transportation, City of Sandy Springs

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of