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New toll lanes planned for I-75 and I-575 northwest of Atlanta recently received federal approval. The reversible lanes will cover about 30 miles of highway in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
The lanes will stretch from I-285 up to Hickory Grove Rd. on I-75 and up to Sixes Rd. on I-575. Unlike the High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-85, these lanes will not be converted from existing lanes. Georgia Department of Transportation spokesperson Natalie Dale says they’ll be brand new.
“That lane is there when you need it,” Dale says, “It’s optional. You don’t have to pay that toll; you don’t have to ride in that lane. But if you’re in a pinch and you need it, it’s there.”
The $1 billion dollar project will be a public-private partnership. Dale says the bidding process will start next month.
“About 10-20% of the project’s financing from the start will come from a private entity,” she says, “It’s a tool in our toolbox to really get a project off the ground faster than what we typically can when the money has to be in our pockets.”
Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2014. The lanes are expected to open in 2018. Once they’re up and running, the toll will vary based on traffic and demand for the lanes.
GDOT has developed a Northwest Corridor Project presentation to stakeholders which explains the NWC Project in more detail (PDF).