I-85 project to worsen traffic congestion, report says

5:11 PM, Sep 23, 2011   |    comments
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Traffic on I-85 in Atlanta.

ATLANTA (AP) - A review of records shows that a project to add toll lanes to Interstate 85 in metro Atlanta will make traffic congestion worse for drivers in the regular lanes.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the $60 million project is expected to increase traffic in the regular lanes in order to keep the toll lanes flowing.

The new toll lanes are expected to open next week on parts of I-85 through Gwinnett and DeKalb counties northeast of Atlanta.

A state traffic and revenue study says the regular lanes are expected to gain up to 90 new vehicles per lane, per hour during rush hour.

State Road and Tollway Authority Director Gena Evans said the toll project will give drivers another option if they're willing to pay the tolls.

Also, SRTA officials told 11Alive's Matt Pearl that there will be a grace period for drivers in the early stages of enforcement of the express lanes. They would not say how long that grace period would last.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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