A video obtained exclusively by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the Georgia Department of Transportation provides a sneak peek at how the new toll lanes being constructed along I-75 South in Henry and Clayton counties will operate.
The project, called the "I-75 South Metro Express Lanes" is 12 miles long and involves construction of two new barrier-separated, reversible toll lanes within the I-75 median from McDonough Road to Stockbridge Highway.
Follow the link to get an idea of the express lanes will work: I-75 South Metro Express Lanes.
Construction is underway, with the lanes expected to open in the winter of 2017. The cost? $221 million.
The toll rate has not been set, but early studies assumed it would probably be between 50 to 90 cents per mile, or between $6 and $10.80 to travel the entire length.
Jill Goldberg, recently named the "toll lanes ambassador" for the state DOT, said that a network of toll lanes is planned for around metro Atlanta as part of a strategy to provide a reliable travel time to commuters who need it.
"You don’t have to use it all the time," Goldberg said. "But if you choose to use it, if you decide it’s worth it to you because you’ve got to get to the airport or a concert, you can do that.
She added "I like to think about it as a little bit like insurance, only better than insurance because you don’t have to pay if you don’t use it."
State transportation officials decided several years ago that they would add no new lanes to metro Atlanta interstates unless the lanes were tolled.
By 2040 and perhaps far sooner, express toll lanes won’t be confined to portions of I-75 and I-85. You’ll find them along Ga. 400 and the top end of I-285, too. Eventually the plan is to connect all the major interstates around Atlanta with a seamless network of optional toll lanes.
See my in-depth story about this project and the future toll lane network at http://myajc.com/news/news/local/giant-toll-lane-project-ramps-up-and-up-on-i-75-in/nmw4P/.
The second part of the AJC's "Priced to Move" series seeks to answer the question: Will Atlantans pay to bypass traffic? http://myajc.com/news/news/traffic/priced-to-move-drivers-must-decide-to-pay-or-not/nmz2R/?icmp=ajc_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_ajcstubtomyajcpremium/?icmp=AJC_internallink_071715_AJCtoMyAJC_tollfuture.