Call it a tale of two roads.
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Comparison of recent costly road projects:
$840 million – Projected cost to build optional toll lanes on I-75/I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
$218 million - Cost of I-85 widening in Coweta County, which opened about five years ago.
$176 million - Projected cost to build optional toll lanes on I-75 in Henry and Clayton counties.
$155.4 million - Final cost to build the upgraded interchange at I-85 and Ga. 316.
$56 million – Final cost to convert the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane on I-85 to a HOT (high-occupancy toll) lane.
$22 million – Projected cost to build new I-85/GA 400 connector ramps.
More toll lanes coming
A third of the $12 billion the state has budgeted for new transportation work through the year 2040 will go toward building optional toll lanes in metro Atlanta, including:
- A $176 million optional toll lane project on I-75 South in Henry and Clayton counties. expected to open in December 2016.
- The $870 million Northwest Corridor, a reversible toll lane project on I-75/I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee slated to open by 2018.
- A northern extension of the I-85 HOT lane with a new lane that would stretch to Hamilton Mill Road.
Northwest Corridor financing breakdown:
$175 million - Federal highway funding
$300 million - State funding from gas tax
$270 million - Federal loan
$125 million - Bonds
TOTAL: $870 million*
Source: Atlanta Regional Commission
*The accepted bid for the design-build of the Northwest Corridor was $840 million.
The contractor investment
The selected design-build firm, Northwest Express Roadbuilders, will finance 10 percent of the project up front, to be repaid by the state within six months of the lane opening. This frees up the Georgia Department of Transportation to finance other projects around the state while the optional toll lanes are being built.