I-75 Toll Project Crashes to Halt
The state drops plans for a public-private partnership to ease highway congestion through Northeast Cobb.
If you were geared up for toll lanes along Interstates 75 and 575 in a few years, well, not so fast.
The state thus canceled a bidding process that was launched with great fanfare 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.
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 C.W. Matthews Contracting.
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, 91 percent of people who took a Patch poll on the project in November said they did not think the project would solve the congestion.
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.”