Beginning Sunday, Oct. 5, variable speed limits (VSL) will be in effect on I-285 north of its interchanges with I-20, the Georgia Department of Transportation said in a press release.

The speed limits will increase the base speed limit on this 36-mile section of I-285 to 65 miles per hour, matching the limit on the southern half of I-285.  To increase safety and promote smooth traffic flow, the Georgia DOT says it will be able to electronically reduce the speed limit on the top of I-285 in 10-mph increments to as low as 35 mph in the event of an incident or heavy congestion.

“VSL gives us the ability to warn drivers in advance that they are approaching heavy congestion or a crash site and to slow down that approaching traffic to a safe speed – one that will best facilitate its movement through the affected area,” GA DOT Chief Engineer Russell McMurry said.  “This will be immeasurably safer than having to slam on the brakes when suddenly confronted with backed-up traffic.”

The DOT claims that the success of the 65-mph speed limit on the south side and the abundance of I-285 lanes on the top – as many as seven and no less than four in either direction – validate the top side increase.