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Citizens invited to weigh in on I-75 tolls

6:29 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. --  The Georgia Department of Transportation held a public hearing Tuesday night about planned toll lanes on a 12.26 mile stretch of Interstate 75 south of Atlanta.

GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said the design is not finished so the agency really wants to hear what drivers in the area think of the idea.

"Right now, we're looking at  reversible, barrier separated, managed lanes. We're going to be adding two more lanes to  the interstate, so they will flow with traffic," Dale said.

In the morning when commuters are headed into the city of Atlanta the two lanes in the center will  flow toward the city of Atlanta. At night when everyone is going home they'll flow away. 

The toll amount is based on demand - the heavier the traffic, the higher the price.

The concept is similar to the current HOT lanes on I-85, but Dale is quick to point out that the state is not taking away a lane to create a toll, but adding two additional lanes to do it.

Other cities like Los Angeles and Miami have long offered toll lanes to commuters willing to pay for them. 

Eventually, GDOT would also like to  extend the HOT lanes on I-85 north to Hamilton Mill Parkway, 
add reversible, toll lanes on I-75 above Atlanta. 

The 12.26 mile section from Stockbridge to McDonough is expected to cost $150 million and be finished in three years.

The next public hearing is Thursday, April 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn in McDonough.  It runs from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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