Travels Tuesday: Georgia 400 Express Lanes

Concept photos for the Georgia 400 Express Lanes
Concept photos for the Georgia 400 express lanes (Georgia DOT photo)

Georgia DOT is holding public information open houses for the proposed Georgia 400 express lanes this week, so Moving Henry Forward thought it ideal to explore one of the state’s most anticipated projects in this week’s edition of Travels Tuesday. The Georgia 400 express lanes are part of former Governor Deal’s Major Mobility Investment Program, a set of eleven large-scale projects programmed “in an effort to yield a significant reduction in congestion along key freight and passenger corridors.”

The Georgia 400 express lanes project proposes to build sixteen miles of new managed lanes in north Fulton and Forsyth Counties. Two managed lanes in each direction are proposed between the North Springs MARTA Station and McGinnis Ferry Road, before transitioning to one managed lanes between McGinnis Ferry and McFarland Parkway. The lanes will utilize congestion-based pricing and the PeachPass toll tag system to offer motorists a reliable trip time and improve transit timetables.

Unique to the Georgia 400 project will be Georgia’s first implementation of bus rapid transit. BRT allows transit busses to travel in the managed lanes and stop at dedicated stations built within the interstate right of way. Last year, Governor Deal pledged $100 million in state bonds to help fund the construction of four transit stations along the route. The project’s southern terminus at the North Springs MARTA Station will allow BRT passengers to transfer to the existing heavy rail line for destinations in downtown and midtown Atlanta.

Map of the planned Georgia Express Lanes network
Express lanes are either operational or programmed throughout metro Atlanta. (Georgia DOT photo)

The overall project has been estimated to cost $1.8 billion to build, funded in part by a $184 million dollar INFRA grant awarded to Georgia DOT last summer. Other funding sources include the state’s Transportation Funding Act of 2015 and federal dollars.

Construction is forecast to start in 2021 with the lanes opening in 2024. Other express lanes planned along I-285 will provide motorists with seamless connectivity across north metro Atlanta once all MMIP projects are built.

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