The construction work to convert the Riverside Drive and I-285 interchange in Sandy Springs into roundabouts will begin this summer and continue into November, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

A new rendering of the final design of the Riverside Drive/I-285 roundabouts released by GDOT.

A new rendering of the final design of the Riverside Drive/I-285 roundabouts released by GDOT.

Utility relocation work for the project has been underway since February, but now the actual roadway work is ready to start. GDOT said that the contractors, Baldwin Paving Company and Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, recently completed the design.

The $5.6 million project will convert the existing signalized ramp intersections to single-lane roundabouts. Two lanes will feed into the roundabout, with one lane used to enter the roundabout and one lane used for right turns. The project also includes sidewalks on both sides of Riverside Drive; landscaping and decorative lighting; and a rehab of the existing Riverside bridge over I-285.

Construction will take place both day and night, but lane closures will only take place on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and on the weekends from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. One travel lane will remain open at all times, except during bridge maintenance work, when all lanes in each direction will close and a detour will be in place.

The landscape work will continue into 2018, according to GDOT spokesperson Annalysce Baker.

The project is controversial, with local residents questioning whether roundabouts will improve traffic congestion in the commuter-heavy area. GDOT says the roundabouts will be safer and previously issued statistics reporting 73 crashes in the interchange in 2008 through 2012.

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