Construction crews have started the long process of transitioning Georgia 400 from a toll road to a free roadway and that could mean more traffic on the metro-Atlanta highway.
“We started this past weekend and what we’ve done is begun striping and preparing that area that’s through the ‘cruise card’ lane through that wider section to be three lanes in both directions,” explained Natalie Dale with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
Currently, the road has several lanes to guide cars through the toll plaza, but crews will reduce the number to just three to match the rest of the 400 corridor.
“Between now and next fall, we’ll have a lot of work going on,” said Dale who encouraged drivers to take their time when traveling through the construction. “This is an active construction zone and just like any other construction zone in the metro area or in the state, there is going to be a bit of congestion because people are bound to slow down, they want to look around, they want to know what’s going on. So, we’re just encouraging those commuters to stay alert, stay aware.”
GDOT officials estimate the removal of the tolls will also lead to 10 to 18 percent more traffic on GA 400.
“We may not fully see the result of that until next fall or late spring when the toll booth is demoed, when that toll structure is gone and people really start to see that open space,” said Dale.
She added that driver behavior can be very habit-driven and it may take time for people to adjust their routes to include 400 if they previously avoided it.
The State Road and Tollway Authority will stop collecting tolls on 400 the week of November 18th.