The Northwest Corridor is one of Atlanta’s most economically vital regions, containing several major activity and employment centers. Rapid growth of the region’s residential population along with employment expansion is expected to continue through 2035. Without transportation improvements to accommodate this growth, congestion was expected to worsen, creating further loss of mobility.
WSP USA has been involved with the Northwest Corridor project since the beginning, serving in multiple roles on behalf of GDOT. During the first phase of the project, which ran from 2001-2008, WSP served as the prime consultant, developing engineering concepts to address congestion on I-75 and I-575. As the environmental lead, WSP evaluated the viability of those concepts through development of the alternatives analysis/draft environmental impact statement (AA/DEIS).
The AA/DEIS included highway solutions, such as adding high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) and truck-only lanes, developed in collaboration with GDOT; as well as transit solutions, such as bus rapid transit (BRT) with stations along the corridors, developed in conjunction with Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA).
“This project required numerous innovations, accommodations and considerations, including solutions that addressed impacts to the traveling public, environmentally sensitive areas, and the estimated duration and cost of construction,” said Moses, who has served as WSP’s project manager since the retirement of original project manager, Roger Palmer.
GDOT’s project began as an extension of the existing HOV system, but expanded when the GRTA study determined that BRT operating in the proposed HOV system along I-75 would be a more effective solution. Eventually, the preferred solution was determined to include the creation of reversible managed express lanes along the corridor.
WSP’s work played a key role in reaching the final decision, which included an extensive traffic study and analysis for the corridors, and the definition of impacts to environmental resources, right of way, existing development and structures.