Toll express lanes coming to Georgia 400 for drivers who choose to pay

ATLANTA — New toll express lanes are coming back to Georgia 400 and could cost some drivers.

The new lanes will be similar to the HOT lanes being built along Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County.

According to a state board, the State Road and Tollway Authority approved Monday plans to allow a private company to pay for the construction of two new express lanes along Georgia 400 in exchange for 50 years of collecting toll money.

However, this is not a toll situation where all Georgia drivers pay tolls — only drivers who want to use the new lanes will be charged. Regular lanes will remain toll free.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes talked to drivers in the area where the new lanes will be built.

Drivers said they remember when everyone paid tolls on Georgia 400 and the traffic it created.

“Well, to be honest with you, I know it’s going to upset a lot of people,” driver Christopher Johnson said.

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Money paid by Georgia drivers funded the completion of the highway. Some drivers lost trust in GDOT back then because even after Georgia 400 was complete, they were still paying tolls.

According to the state board, with the private company now funding the new construction, it’s expected to save GDOT, and ultimately taxpayers, some money.

“I think they probably got a better idea ... a better system that they’re going to put in place this time,” Johnson said.

The new lanes will stretch from the North Springs MARTA station to McGinnis Ferry Road, plus a single lane in each direction north to McFarland Parkway.

Construction is expected to begin sometime next year.

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