Update: GDOT nears green light on Atlanta express lanes

Update: GDOT nears green light on Atlanta express lanes

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ATLANTA -

It's been more than two months since the Georgia Department of Transportation asked for public feedback on the controversial express lanes situated south of metro Atlanta.

The lanes would flow directly into the metro area and away during the evening rush hour. So, is the construction getting a green light to go or a red light to stop?

One-way express lanes that only allow drivers to move with the flow of rush-hour traffic may be a foreign concept to people traveling in metro Atlanta, but they're another way that GDOT is trying to institute new concepts to ease traffic congestion.

Opinions from drivers on express lanes were mixed in early 2013. That's when the GDOT presented plans for 12 miles of new express lanes on Interstate 75, from Highway 155 to Highway 138.

GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said, "Those were very well attended. We got some good feedback from the individuals in that area that would be using the managed lane system."

While some were against the idea, others acknowledged that something needed to be done.

Driver Lorenzo Lewis said, "You can basically walk quicker or faster at times than you can travel going from her to I-675 or further up."

Now, the Georgia DOT is getting closer to pulling the trigger on the construction. But, they're waiting on final approval from an environmental study.

Dale said, "Until we receive that environmental approval, it's important for citizens to know that their opinions do matter and that the no-build option is still on the table."

Many commuters immediately spoke out against the idea of the express lanes, concerned that it would mean fewer travel lanes. Perhaps something similar to I-85's HOT lanes.

Dale said, "We are going to build lanes on the outside and then in the middle. We're going to have two reversible lanes – barrier separated – that would flow with the direction of traffic given the time of day."

For people who want to work in the city, but live in some of the more rapidly growing communities, it's a great option. It's another way the state is thinking outside of the box.

Dale said, "People want more choices. They want innovation and so we're really seeing a shift in the focus of the department to really give people more options."

Reversible express lanes are also coming to I-75 in the northwest side of metro Atlanta. Nearly 30 miles of tolled lanes are expected from I-285 to Hickory Grove and up to Sixes Road on I-575.

More Info:
Georgia Department of Transportation
Georgia DOT: Express Lanes

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