ATLANTA - The first phase of Georgia 400 toll booth demolition is set to begin Friday night.
The tolls will end Nov. 21, but preparations must be made before that can happen.
Crews will remove or modify more than 60 signs leading up to the toll plaza. Peach Pass lanes will also get re-striped in anticipation of the work to come, which will eventually send all cars through the cruise lanes.
Georgia Department of Transportation project manager Jeremy Busby said the heavy lifting will not come until after the New Year.
“After the holidays, we will begin demolishing the toll canopy and the tolling equipment. The lanes will be shifting to the cruise lanes and everything on the outside will be demolished,” Busby said.
The State Road and Tollway Authority said their goal is to let drivers know what’s coming so they can slow down and pay attention.
“Sure, they’ll be working the best they can to move the traffic through there, so a little patience and understanding, I’m sure they’ll get it done and we’ll be moving through there a little bit quicker,” driver Stephen Virgil said.
Officials say taking down the tolls could add 11,000 more drivers on the road.
The State Road & Tollway Authority said uncollected tolls will amount to an estimated $50,000 a day and $20 million a year.
Most drivers paying tolls Tuesday said they are looking for forward to the shutdown of the toll plaza.
Dozens of cashiers and supervisory staff that will be displaced will receive job placement assistance from the private company that hired them and the state.
One worker said what she will miss most about her job.
"I'm going to miss the customers. We have our favorites. And they're going to miss us," toll cashier Maryanne Sweet said.