by: Richard Elliot Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. - The State Road and Tollway Authority wants to get the word out:
The Georgia 400 tolls and tollbooths are going away very soon, and the project will affect traffic.
SRTA Deputy Director Bert Brantley said the tolls should end by Thanksgiving, but that is only the beginning of a project that should continue through
"If we can let people know what's happening, they'll be much more likely to not freak out when they come through there and will be much safer," said Brantley.
Once the tolls end, both north and southbound Georgia 400 traffic will be funneled only through the existing Peach Pass lanes, though one extra lane will be added. That will allow crews to begin the demolition of the actual toll gates. Once that is complete, traffic will be diverted again as the crews remove the Peach Pass lanes. If all goes according to plan, Brantley said all lanes should be reopened by June 2014.
"It's a day we kept our promise, which I think is important," said Brantley. "The promises made
20 years ago. The governor made his promise during his campaign, and now we're fulfilling that promise, and anytime we do that, that's important."
SRTA held the first of four open houses Tuesday afternoon at the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce though it was sparsely attended. The next meeting is scheduled for
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Central Park Recreation Center on Keith Bridge Road in Cumming. Brantley said it's vitally important they reach as many people as possible so commuters will not be surprised when they see the demolition.
"We know it's that day before when you start to pay attention," said Brantley. "We know that, but the more we can focus people's minds on this and get them prepared, the much safer it will be."
Brantley also said he believes the
$60 million in excess tolls used to fund road projects along the Georgia 400 corridor helped spur growth in North Fulton and Forsyth counties over the past 20 years.