Georgia I-285 toll lanes delayed; I-75 truck lanes expedited
October 10, 2019
Motorists in Georgia will wait a little longer before new toll lanes are completed, as the Georgia Department of Transportation has revised its Major Mobility Investment Program schedule. However, plans for truck lanes have been accelerated.
On Monday, Oct. 7, GDOT released its revised program schedule, which includes plans for toll lanes on state Route 400 and Interstate 285. Originally the I-285 toll lanes on the north end were to be finished by 2028. Those have now been pushed back to 2032. Toll lanes for SR 400 have also moved from an end date of 2024 to 2027.
While those express toll lanes are delayed, GDOT has decided to expedite construction of the commercial vehicles lanes on Interstate 75 from state Route 155 to Interstate 475.
Truck lanes are now scheduled to open by the beginning of 2029 rather than in the middle of 2029.
Compared to a June 2017 schedule, there are six additional I-285 advanced improvement projects on the recently revised schedule. Designs for those projects begun this year and are expected to be completed between 2023 and 2026.
“As the (program) has developed and design work has progressed, we’ve evaluated how we are delivering the program and refined it to advance six improvement projects along I-285,” said GDOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry in a statement. “Advancing these improvement projects, which were already part of the (program), will bring improvements to our region and local communities sooner and help mitigate disruptive construction congestion during the major express lanes’ construction.”
Some of the toll projects have been broken down into smaller parts. GDOT explains that doing this will “allow for better competition among the construction industry and provide more opportunities for smaller, local contractors.”
In addition to potentially saving money, smaller projects may also improve traffic maintenance during construction.
According to a news release, the Major Mobility Investment Program “is the first of its kind in the country and was created to build a better Georgia through enhanced mobility and safety, fuel economic growth, and improve quality of life.” GDOT identified several transportation projects:
- Four major interchange projects.
- Five major express lanes projects.
- Four major intestate widening projects.
- One commercial vehicle lanes project.
- Four bridge replacement projects.
Once completed, the project is expected to relieve traffic through a 15% savings in travel time, valued at $3.28 billion. This is estimated to provide 45 minutes in trip planning time savings. Also, the state expects to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 13% as a result of less congestion and faster travel times.
Gov. Nathan Deal introduced the initiative in 2016. The project was supposed to take 10 years at a cost of $11 billion.