Ga. DOT plans HOT lanes expansion - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Ga. DOT plans HOT lanes expansion

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State transportation officials are moving ahead with plans to expand the toll lane system on I-75 and I-85.

The current toll lanes on I-85 begin at Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett. Under the new plan, toll lanes would start another 11 miles to the north at Hamilton Mill Road.

Some who live here in the popular Hamilton Mill area said they weren't happy with the plans.

 "I can't believe it. It's just ludicrous because it's not working, what they have right now," said Gwinnett resident John Schultz.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is calling for the construction of new optional lanes, not the conversion of current lanes, which helped cause controversy when the toll system opened last year.

"I don't have as many with that. I think the biggest with what happened before is that they took away an existing lane of traffic to add to the HOT lanes," said Kelvin Evans.

Officials say the aim of the toll lanes is try to keep at least one lane of traffic flowing at a minimum of 45 miles per hour.

The state also plans to move ahead with a billion-dollar project to build new toll lanes along I-75 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties.

They also plan other lanes along a stretch of I-75 in Henry County.

The DOT has also now decided to proceed with new speed limits on I-285.

The northern loop of the perimeter above I-20 will have variable speed limits up to 65 miles per hour.

On I-285 below I-20, the speed limit will be 65 mph constantly because of the lower volume of traffic.

The new toll lanes are likely years away. Work to implement new speed limits is expected to begin next year.

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