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I-575 Toll Project Crashes to Halt

The state drops plans for a public-private partnership to ease highway congestion through Cherokee County.

If you were geared up for toll lanes along Interstates 75 and 575 in a few years, well, not so fast.

The state Transportation Board pulled the plug Wednesday on the public-private partnership planned to propel the Northwest Corridor Project.

The head of the state committee overseeing the $1.1 billion project, Brandon Beach, announced the decision in a two-sentence statement posted on the state Department of Transportation website.

The state thus canceled a bidding process that was  this fall and was supposed to end in February. It also might have doomed a project that the state DOT started working on a decade ago.

Is the end of the toll project a good thing? Let us know in the comment box below.

Three groups of contractors were preparing bids, the Atlanta Business Chronicle said: West by Northwest Development Partners; Georgia Mobility Partners; and Northwest Atlanta Development Group, including Marietta’s .

The idea is to two run reversible toll lanes northward from the start of the high-occupancy-vehicle lanes at Akers Mill Road in Cobb County along I-75 and I-575.

Two lanes would run to the split in the interstates, with a single lane continuing along I-75 to Hickory Grove Road and another lane running up I-575 to Sixes Road.

The winning contractors would have built and paid for the roads in return for the tolls collected.

Like the new high-occupancy-toll lanes on Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta, the Northwest lanes would collect the tolls automatically, and the price would vary, depending on the time of day and the traffic on the nontoll lanes.

Unlike the controversial HOT lanes, you couldn’t earn a free ride by carpooling.

The project links page shows how many agencies, cities and counties have stakes in the effort.

But traffic predictions raised doubts that the toll lanes would reduce the gridlock that typically hits I-75 coming out of Bartow County and I-575 out of Cherokee County every morning and that returns each afternoon running back north through Cobb County, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.

In fact,  on the project in November said they did not think the project would solve the congestion.

The doubts also inspired  regarding mass transit along I-75 and U.S. 41, including the  that .

Construction was supposed to start in spring 2013, and the lanes were going to open in 2016, the Business Chronicle said.

Without the private financing, it’s not clear where the money would come from to build the toll lanes or if they’ll ever be built.

Beach was vague in his brief statement: “The Transportation Board is examining other available options for the delivery of this project.”

jcwauford@comcast.net December 16, 2011 at 02:08 AM
I've read bad things about similar operations. Maybe they were biased, maybe not,but I don't think the plan was good. So, to me this sounds like good news.

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