A rendering of the I-85 vehicular bridge from Executive Park to Buford Highway in Brookhaven.

Three new bridges – two vehicular and one pedestrian – are planned for Brookhaven to help ease the volume of traffic on North Druid Hills Road at I-85 due to the growth of medical facilities in the area.

Emory University will spend $1 billion to transform the old Executive Park property into a health innovation district, while Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is nearing completion of the Arthur M. Blank Hospital.

CHOA’s campus alone will have five entry points: North Druid Hills Road, Northeast Expressway, Briarcliff Road, Clairmont Road, and Tullie Road. The healthcare giant has invested $40 million in infrastructure and $10 million toward construction of the North Druid Hills interchange.

A rendering of the scheduled detour at Peachtree Creek and North Druid Hills Road. Image from GDOT.

At North Druid Hills Road and I-85, Georgia Department of Transportation is planning a reverse intersection similar to Ashford Dunwoody and I-285, a new access road along I-85, and a new bridge over Peachtree Creek. GDOT anticipates a three to four month detour while the Peachtree Creek bridge is being built.

CHOA will move into the new hospital campus when GDOT completes the project in 2024.

The I-85 vehicular bridge will connect Executive Park to Buford Highway to relieve traffic from North Druid Hills area.

Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman said the city received $700,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission to design the vehicular bridge. The city is matching funds from the Capital Improvement Plan. Construction costs are unknown until the design is complete and the project is bid out, Sigman said, but city documents show the “federal ask for this project is $10 million.”

“Staff has had conversations with the landowner on the Buford Highway side that are going in a very good trajectory,” said Sigman. The bridge will become a gateway to the city.

A rendering of the future pedestrian bridge over I-85 in Brookhaven.

Lastly, phase II of the Peachtree Creek Greenway is a 14-foot, mile-long concrete path from the Brookhaven/Atlanta border to the Peachtree Creek Greenway at North Druid Hills Road. A pedestrian bridge – approved in the 2020 Comprehensive Plan update – will connect Executive Park to the greenway and include an elevator. The city council approved a contract for $542,761 for Michael Baker International to design the concept.

“I want to make sure that we have a robust public engagement. I know it’s not a federal project, which requires the public engagement process, but I would love to have the community give input to some of the concepts … so [they] can be well aware of what’s coming,” Councilmember John Funny said at the Oct. 24 city council meeting.

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.