UPDATE 9:58 a.m. – the city issues the following statement on the status of the interchange:
Well you may have already heard or read the good news, but I thought this update should be sent out just in case you haven’t. The Interchange contractor has provided GDOT and the City of Woodstock with a hard date of Friday, November 16, 2012 as the opening of all four of the ramps to and from I-575, and full use of the new bridge at Ridgewalk Parkway and I-575.
Everyone has been very patient and cooperative during the past 21 months, and the city appreciates how well things have gone with this project despite the inconveniences it has presented residents and visitors to the area at times. In some ways it is hard to believe that construction actually began February 8, 2011. The change to the area is amazing.
The city would like to express appreciation to C.W. Matthews, the project contractor, and the Georgia Department of Transportation for a job well done. Also, congratulations to Matthews for an early completion. A noteworthy accomplishment for such a major project having special coordination conditions with the surrounding residences. We know so many people will be thrilled to have this new convenient access now available, especially in time for the holidays.
The long awaited Ridgewalk Parkway interchange has a "good chance" of opening on Nov. 16.
Mohamed Arafa, communications officer with the Georgia Department of Transportation, said the new interchange could open by next Friday, "weather permitting."
The Nov. 16 date is a nearly a month and a half ahead of the Dec. 31, 2012 deadline set in CW Matthews' contract to do the work.
"As you very well know, the weather is a factor," Arafa added. "If we are fortunate enough to continue to get Mother Nature's cooperation, the chance of completing the project ahead of schedule and giving the new interchange to commuters and the traveling public in Cherokee County goes traffic goes up from a slight chance to a good chance."
Arafa added that even without the cooperation of the weather, "we will still be able to complete the project on schedule and on budget."
The project includes building a diamond-shaped interchange and replacing the existing Rope Mill Road bridge over the interstate, realigning Rope Mill Road to intersect with Ridgewalk Parkway and installing auxiliary lanes between the new interchange and Towne Lake Parkway. The new interchange would be Exit 9.
City officials expect the new interchange to provide much-needed traffic relief on Towne Lake Parkway and Sixes Road.
Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques said the city is still in the process of scheduling a ribbon cutting for the interchange.
GDOT awarded a $17.1 million contract to C.W. Matthews to perform the work with a deadline to complete the project by Dec. 31, 2012.