Group wants Georgia to consider I-75 truck-only lane extension
December 30, 2020
A group of stakeholders are asking Georgia to consider an extension of truck-only lanes currently in development to the northwest portion of the state.
Recently, Thrive Regional Partnership, a group of stakeholders in 16 counties across Alabama, northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee, submitted comments on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Major Mobility Investment Program. Among many projects, the program establishes two truck-only lanes going northbound along Interstate 75 from the I-75/I-475 interchange in Monroe County ending near the SR 20 interchange in Henry County.
Specifically, Thrive wants GDOT to consider extending the truck-only lanes to northwest Georgia. Additionally, the group is requesting that the state look into “considering truck parking strategies to enhance safety for truck drivers and motorists.”
“Safe and efficient freight movement is vital to economic growth, however, current conditions lead to congested freight corridors, bottlenecks, and limited truck parking,” Thrive said in a statement. “Trends suggest these concerns will only become more significant in the future.”
Thrive is also suggesting GDOT adopt the following:
- Scenario modeling to enhance multimodal freight transportation.
- Incorporating broadband infrastructure, where possible, to increase internet access in rural communities.
- Partnering with the environmental sector to ensure infrastructure mitigates impact on the natural environment and is resilient to climate change.
The I-75 truck-only lanes are part of Georgia’s Major Mobility Investment Program introduced by then-Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016.
The $11 billion program includes interchange projects, express lanes, interstate widening, truck-only lanes and improvements to Interstate 285.
According to GDOT, the purpose of the truck-only lanes is to improve northbound freight movement, reduce potential crashes and provide reliable travel times for drivers and freight operators. The project accommodates growth in truck traffic coming from Florida and the Port of Savannah. Tolls will not be part of the truck lane project.
Last year, GDOT delayed the construction of express toll lanes while expediting construction of the truck-only lanes. According to the revised schedule, construction is slated for 2024. GDOT expects substantial completion of the lanes by the end of 2027. The truck-only lanes will account for more than $1 billion of the total $11 billion mobility project. LL