The Council for Quality Growth hosted John Hancock from the Georgia Department of Transportation on Wednesday, May 25th. Hancock gave an update on the progress of the Northwest Corridor Express Lane Project in Cobb County. The new Express Lane will add 29.7 miles of reversible toll lanes along I-75 from Akers Mill Road to Hickory Grove Road and along I-575 from I-75 to Sixes Road. This will allow traffic to travel southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening. Along with these additions, Hancock also discussed two new lanes that will be built west of the existing lanes along I-75 from I-285 to I-575. Drivers with a peach pass will be able to access these roads and will pay a toll electronically at a variable cost that is based on demand at the time for the use of the express lanes.
As evidenced by similar projects across the country as well as our region’s own I-85 express lanes, the estimated $834 million investment will improve travel significantly by offering motorists a way to bypass the traffic and promoting the use of transit in the region by allowing buses to access the new lanes free of charge. Hancock described how these infrastructure improvements will help boost economic growth not just in the I-75 corridor, but region-wide. Further, the toll system will help to offset capital costs, future maintenance and operation costs.
Construction of this project began in 2014, and is expected to be completed and open to public by Spring/Summer of 2018. As of now 6 of the 39 bridges involved in the project are complete with 21 more scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Likewise, 17 of the 68 retaining walls have been completed and 46 others are expected to be finished in 2016. See the entirety of the information on the project in his presentation.
The Council thanks John Hancock and his staff at GDOT for providing the informative update on the Northwest Corridor Express Lane project.