ATLANTA - Work will begin next week on the first phase to remove the Georgia 400 toll plaza, even though some commuters still doubt it's going to happen.
Portable signs will go up on Friday alerting drivers to sign work and a re-striping project in the Georgia 400 cruise lanes. That work will begin October 25th.
After twenty years, the tolls will end the week before Thanksgiving, then crews will begin dismantling the toll plaza. Removal of the plaza is expected to take months and cost approximately $4 million.
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"A lot of people who've come to the meetings have been there to say, 'is this really happening?'" says the Georgia Road and Tollway Authority's Bert Brantley. "We tell them we've got a contractor on board, it is really happening."
Next week, crews will begin removing some of the toll related signs along 400.
At some point, the cruise lanes on Georgia 400 will close briefly overnight as workers begin re-striping that area. Crews will turn two lanes into three as that area will accommodate travelers while the toll plaza comes down.
"The number one thing for people to know is that it's a construction zone," said Brantley. "We want people to be safe. If they see workers, if they see barrels, it would be great if they slow down and pay attention."
When the Georgia 400 extension opened in 1992, transportation officials marked the occasion with a road race on the highway.
Another road race will celebrate the end of the tolls.
On November 17th, the toll authority will once again allow runners onto the highway where they can saunter through the toll plaza before it all goes away.