If you travel Georgia 400, then you’ve the signs approaching the toll booth plaza that some lanes will be closed starting today for a re-striping project. That’s part of the larger process of permanently shutting down the plaza and ending the collection of tolls. Transportation workers will close some lanes of Georgia 400 over the weekend to begin the monthslong process of removing the toll booths.
According to a report from our affiliate CBS Atlanta, two northbound lanes at the toll plaza will be closed from 10 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. on. Saturday. Two southbound lanes from 10 p.m. on Saturday until 5 a.m. on Sunday.
As of Nov. 21, motorists can stop digging in their cup holders, pants pockets or under the seats for 50 cents to pay the toll on Georgia 400.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced in August that the toll booths would be closed by that date, weather permitting, just in time for Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Once the booths are closed, concrete barriers will be erected and traffic travelling both north and south will be funneled through the former Peach Pass lanes.
Demolition of the toll plaza will begin early next year and will cost $4.5 million. Southeastern Site Development in Newnan was selected for the job over the summer.
The question on most Georgia 400 users minds is what will happen to traffic once the toll ends. Christopher Tomlinson, executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority, said he has seen studies that show an increase in traffic, but its unpredictable until the road is open. “There are others that say without having that stop and go caused by the toll, it will get better,” Tomlinson said in a recent interview.
Tomlinson also noted that the opening of the new connector ramps to I-85 also make traffic predictability more uncertain.
At press time, the GDOT was reporting that the I-85 connector ramps are on schedule to open in January with 60 percent of the work complete. Construction of bridge columns, deck installation and retaining walls is ongoing where Georgia 400 south divides at Sidney Marcus Boulevard. Motorists in the area can continue to expect construction delays, especially on weekends, as work progresses.