It appears toll lanes could be coming to Ga. 400 within a few years.
At a work session on Tuesday, Forsyth County Commissioners heard an update from Tim Matthews with the Georgia Department of Transportation on state roadway projects, including the addition of toll lanes on Ga. 400 into Forsyth County.
“The limits of for 400, we’re really starting at North Springs Marta Station taking it all the way to McFarland,” Matthews said. “Those lanes include two new express lanes [in each direction] from North Springs all the way to McGinnis Ferry, then one lane in each direction for express lanes from McGinnis to McFarland.”
Express lanes are optional toll lanes along existing lanes aimed at allowing drivers to bypass congestion.
Matthews said the express lanes will not reduce the number of normal lanes on Ga. 400.
“[We’re] widening to the outside, and then converting two inside lanes into express lanes,” he said. “There will be a buffer separation between express lanes and general purpose lanes. There’s not going to be a physical barrier, a concrete barrier. There may be some delineated or pylons there just to control movement.”
Right now, the project is going through traffic analysis, coordination with stakeholders and environmental fieldwork. Next steps are an environmental phase, future traffic volume forecasting and right of way acquisition work.
Construction is slated to begin in 2021 and be completed by 2024.
“Obviously, the intent here is to provide mobility and a reliable trip time. That’s’ the focus for building these express lanes,” Matthews said.
Locals will have a chance to give input on the project in September, and plans will solidify in 2019.
Matthews said Ga. 400 was one of 11 major mobility investment program projects across the state, which also includes express lanes on I-285, interstate widenings for options of I-85 and I-16, commercial vehicle lanes on I-75 near Macon and interchange reconstruction projects on I-16 and I-285.
Once other projects are completed the Ga. 400 widening will tie in with express lanes on I-285 between I-75 and I-85.
The projects total $11 billion.
“There is federal money on this. There is state money on this,” Matthews said. “We’re actually looking at grant opportunities as well.