Plans for a new Ga. 400 exit in south Forsyth cleared another step Thursday as an interchange justification report received approval from the state Department of Transportation.
The McGinnis Ferry Road interchange would allow access to and from Ga. 400 between exits 11 and 12.
State lawmakers from Forsyth County have supported the project from its inception, stating that the interchange would improve traffic mobility and drive economic development in the area.
The justification report serves to “analyze the impact and suitability of proposed or possible new interchanges on the operational integrity of the affected highway,” according to a news release from the state House of Representatives.
The DOT plans to use federal funding previously earmarked for the project for the preliminary design work in 2014, the release states.
“Former U.S. Rep. John Linder and U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland previously set aside a total of $3.5 million to be used on the estimated $22 million project,” according to the release.
District 24 state Rep. Mark Hamilton of Cumming said the next step toward making the project a reality is for the DOT to program the interchange into its transportation plans.
That would allow the DOT to look at funding possibilities, which could include money from federal, state or local governments, as well as potentially private partners, Hamilton said.
“We have heard from many businesses in the area that feel like the interchange is a key part of their business growth in the area,” he said.
Forsyth County commissioners approved moving forward with the interchange report in October 2011 following approval of the feasibility study.
That study, completed about a year earlier, was a first step toward launching the project for the road, which would be split between the jurisdictions of Forsyth County and Alpharetta.
The North Fulton Community Improvement District put in $125,000 toward the feasibility study, but did not contribute to the interchange justification report.