Traffic crosses the Ashford-Dunwoody bridge over I-285, which reopened June 3 as the state’s first ‘diverging diamond’ interchange.

Neither rain nor traffic slowed drivers heading through Georgia’s first “diverging diamond” intersection, which opened to cars and trucks June 3, transportation officials and police reported.

The intersection of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and I-285 opened about 5 p.m. June 3, roughly 12 hours earlier than originally planned, according to a spokeswoman for the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, which initiated the redesign of the interchange.

“It’s a very significant milestone,” PCID President and CEO Yvonne Williams said. “Not only is this project a first for Georgia, it’s a major, innovative solution to a congested intersection.”

The $4.6 million project redirects traffic on Ashford-Dunwoody Road as it crosses the bridge over I-285. Vehicles cross the bridge on the left side, rather than the right, so they can turn onto I-285 without waiting for oncoming traffic.

Also, a looping ramp that carried traffic from the bridge to I-285 East has been removed, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. In a press release, DOT called the ramp “a major contributor to the congestion in the corridor.”

Shortly before noon on June 4, Dunwoody police Officer Ken Peck said he had seen few traffic troubles on the bridge during the morning. Peck said he was posted to the bridge at 5 a.m. and had seen no accidents. “Most people are just slowing down, trying to figure out where to go,” he said.

The bridge opened June 4 to vehicular traffic only, PCID officials said. Work will continue on pedestrian walkways and landscaping. The project should be fully in the fall, Williams said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.