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Toll booth takedown focus of meetings
Two scheduled for next month
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

The Oct. 3 meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the Central Park Recreation Center, 2300 Keith Bridge Road. The Oct. 17 meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in Piney Grove Middle School. For more information, visit www.peachpass.com.

For years, it has cost $1 to drive round trip from Forsyth County to Atlanta on Ga. 400.

Come December, however, the toll will be lifted and the demolition of the toll booths soon will follow.

Before that happens, the State Road and Tollway Authority will hold a series of open houses, including two in Forsyth County, this fall to let motorists know what to expect.

There will be no formal presentations, but transportation representatives will offer information Oct. 3 at Central Park Recreation Center and Oct. 17 at Piney Grove Middle School.

The decision to end the 50-cent toll, which generates about $20 million annually, after about two decades was made by Gov. Deal last year.

Toll collections are scheduled to cease the week before Thanksgiving, with demolition of the toll plaza set for completion by spring 2014.

The authority said the project will cost about $4.5 million, $3.5 million of which is construction.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will manage the project, whose bid was awarded to Southeastern Site Development of Newnan.

Teri Pope, a DOT spokeswoman, said work would begin as early as next month, including striping and removing signs.

Once the toll ends, traffic will be shifted, with the goal to maintain three lanes of through traffic at all times.

“During first stage of demolition, three general purpose lanes will be created where the cruise lanes are currently located,” she said. “Simultaneously, the gated toll lanes will be closed and portions of the structure and tolling equipment will be removed.”

When that part is finished, traffic will then shift to the existing toll lanes while work begins on the other portion of the highway.

When the final three lanes are complete, the finished road should have three lanes for northbound traffic and three for southbound, with any remaining pavement removed and replaced with grass.

In addition to the two meetings in Forsyth, two others will be held in neighboring Fulton County.

The authority has also set up Tolltalk, a blog providing updates on the effort, current and future tolling projects in Georgia and information on Peach Pass.

According to the authority’s website, “Tolltalk is our way of speaking directly with you, our customers, about all things SRTA in an informal and interactive way.”