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Friday, January 20, 2012 - 8:00am

State Cuts I-85 Tolls Again

The State Road and Tollway Authority Thursday approved plans to drop the price to drive in toll lanes on Interstate 85 to a little as one penny per mile.

Gov. Nathan Deal had pushed for the change in the so-called HOT lane project in parts of Gwinnett and DeKalb counties just northeast of Atlanta.

The lower rate applies only to off-peak hours, and the toll during rush hours will still fluctuate based on traffic volume. The off-peak hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., evenings from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and weekends starting Friday night at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Mondays.

The toll lanes have drawn criticism from some motorists. State Sen. Renee Unterman, a Buford Republican, says many people can't afford to pay them.

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