$5 million price tag to increase speed limit on I-285

Updated:

Commuters on Interstate 285 are getting a chance to drive a little faster than the current speed limit.
ATLANTA —

Commuters on Interstate 285 are getting a chance to drive a little faster than the current speed limit.

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to install digital speed limit signs on the north end perimeter that will allow them to increase the speed limit in an effort to ease congestion.

Nearly 50 digital signs will be installed at a cost of $4.9 million, according to officials. Signs and the speed limit would change depending on the conditions, DOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said.

The speed limit is also increasing on the south side of I-285, but the speed and the signs will be permanent.

The Department of Transportation looked at other cities like Orlando, Fla. to find out if the signs are successful and they conducted a focus group, Goldberg said. Drivers told state officials they wanted the speed limit increased.

Goldberg said the signs and labor are not all of the nearly $5 million dollar price tag. The state must also install fiber optics and cable connections to control the digital signs.

The money comes from the department’s standard operating budget.

Work is expected to begin next summer but the new speed limit signs and new speed limit won’t take effect until late 2013.

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