Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Reversible toll lanes, how will that work?

The Northwest Corridor toll lane project being built along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties, as well as the toll lanes under construction on I-75 in Henry and Clayton counties are reversible lane systems.

It'll be a whole new approach for Georgia, although reversible toll lanes have been in use since the '90s in other cities.

So how will it work? The direction of travel will go toward downtown Atlanta in the morning and away from it in the evenings to accommodate peak traffic demand. From Friday evening rush hour through Saturday, the lanes will continue to flow northbound. Overnight Saturday the lanes will switch to a southbound flow and remain that way through the Monday morning commute, so that there is just one directional shift over the weekend. Adjustments can be made if warranted or for special events like holidays or spring break.

To reverse the direction of flow, the state Department of Transportation will shut down the lanes for several hours during off-peak times at midday and overnight.

Electronic signs will inform motorists when the express lanes are open or closed well in advance of arriving at the entrance.

A system of gates will be employed to restrict or permit access based on the current direction and prevent wrong-way entry.

Prior to reopening the lanes, GDOT personnel will ensure they are clear by monitoring cameras along the route remotely from the Transportation Management Center. HERO trucks will also drive through the corridor to “flush” the system and confirm no vehicles or obstructions remain.

For more information on the Northwest Corridor project and the Georgia Department of Transportation's strategy to create a network of toll lanes around the metro Atlanta, see my in-depth Sunday story about the Northwest Corridor: http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local/giant-toll-lane-project-ramps-up-and-up-on-i-75-in/nmw4P/#e394c9be.3799870.735792

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