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Brown lobbies DOT for I-85/Hwy. 74 solution

Proposed changes to the interchange of Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 74 will be vetted by the Georgia Department of Transportation, according to Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown.

Brown said he has received feedback that DOT is concerned with the proposals brought forth by an engineering study performed on behalf of the city of Fairburn, in whose jurisdiction the location exists.

Brown’s chief concern is that the plans do not address the significant amount of tractor trailers that enter Hwy. 74 just south of the interchange. The ideal solution, he said, is to create a half-diamond interchange at Hwy. 92 and I-85.

But county leaders have previously said that the Federal Highway Administration has shot down that concept because it the interchange is considered too close to the interchange at Hwy. 74.

The interchange is the main sticking point for commuters in west Fayette County including Peachtree City and Tyrone.

Fairburn’s recent plan would add two cloverleafs, one of which would allow traffic exiting I-85 southbound to enter the southbound lanes of Hwy. 74 south on a free flow pattern.

The other cloverleaf would allow southbound traffic on Hwy. 74 coming from Fairburn to turn left to access the northbound lanes of I-85, which would eliminate such traffic from turning in front of Hwy. 74 northbound commuters, as occurs today.

Brown said the cloverleaf exiting I-85 southbound would not allow enough stacking room for vehicles.

Brown said he plans to meet with officials in Fairburn soon to discuss the proposed changes. While the project is entirely outside of Fayette County, there is room to negotiate in part because the county has contributed funding towards the engineering study conducted for Fairburn, Brown said.

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