Tolls on Georgia 400 end

Tolls on Georgia 400 end

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ATLANTA -

Fridaywas the long-awaited day for travelers on Georgia Highway 400 as the state endedthe tolls on the state run expressway. The last toll was scheduled to be collected afterrush hour, but officials ended it a couple of hours early.

Last year, Gov. Nathan Deal promised to end toll by the end of this year. It was announced in March that this week would be the final week for tolls on the state operated expressway.

Last month, the $4.5 million demolition project began with the slow conversion of the toll plaza for this day.

The 50-cent toll was originally slated to end in 2011, but in December 2010, the state issued $40 million more in bonds that were tied to the tolls.

Gov. Deal said officials got the public's message the tolls should end.

"I suppose you might say that the public who uses this roadway has put their 2-cents worth in in terms of whether their tolls should come down," Deal said. "Today we're going let them keep their 50 cents from this point forward."

There is a downside to the tolls going away. The Georgia Department of Transportation says getting rid of the tolls will add about 11,000 vehicles on the roadway every day.

The remaining portion of the toll plaza will be removed after the first of the year. Authorities are urging drivers to slow down and be aware of their surroundings as the booths begin to come down.

The State Road and Tollway Authority remind drivers that their Peach Passes are still can be used for the HOT lanes.

The Associate Press contributed to this article

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