South Metro Express Lanes (Georgia)

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South Metro Express Lanes
Route information
Maintained by Georgia Department of Transportation
Length12 mi[1] (19 km)
Existed2017–present
Component
highways
RestrictionsPeach Pass required for use
Major junctions
South end I-75 in McDonough
 
North end I-75 in Stockbridge
Highway system
  • Georgia State Routes

The South Metro Express Lanes is a completed Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) project which has put Peach Pass-only reversible toll lanes along the medians of Interstate 75 (I-75) and I-675 in the southern suburbs of the Atlanta metropolitan area. It carries traffic between Henry and Clayton counties by adding two lanes for paying vehicles along I-75 from SR 20/SR 81 north to I-675 and one south of SR 20/SR 81 to the interstate's interchange with SR 155.

History[edit]

GDOT determined in a study conducted between 2007 and 2010 that the addition of more general purpose lanes to many locations in the Metro Atlanta area was not feasible. Instead the department opted to create managed lanes to "preserve mobility choices and provide financially feasible improvements"[2]. During the study, the corridor between the southern side of Interstate 285 and SR 16 was determined to be an intermediate priority for a system of managed lanes throughout the metro area. It was determined that it wouldn't require much to install reversible at-grade lanes, and ultimately, bi-direction lanes based on space limitations and pre-existing structures along the studied area. It was decided by the end of the study that a highest priority of the Managed Lane System was the corridor between SR 155 and SR 138, requiring at least one managed lane.[3] Construction of the project was awarded to the contracting company C.W. Matthews and Arcadis US.

The groundbreaking for the project was held in October 2014. Crews worked alongside moving traffic with minimal nightly lane closures to minimize disturbance to traffic.[4]

The project was completed on January 28, 2017 at a total cost of $226 million.[5]

Future[edit]

The Managed Lanes System calls for the lanes to be extended from their current northern terminus at SR 138 to the HOV lanes at CW Grant Pkwy. The date of construction is undetermined.[6]

Criticism[edit]

Local officials and businessmen have criticized the project for various reasons. It is feared that potential customers would be discouraged from utilizing the hotels, restaurants and other services in the project area due to lack of access to local exits. There is also apprehension towards the risk of accidents due to drivers being unfamiliar with the system, and that emergency vehicles will face difficulty responding to emergencies on the lanes.

Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes had mixed reviews of the project. The commissioner said the county needs managed lanes as well as a proposed $1.4 billion personal rapid transit system.[5][7]

Junction list[edit]

The mile markings of the express lanes shares the same numbering as the mainline interstate.

Interstate 75 Express Lanes[edit]

The entire route is in Henry County.

LocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
McDonough216348 I-75 south (SR 401 south) – MaconAccess to northbound express lanes; southbound exit to mainline (depending on the flow of traffic)
219352 SR 20 / SR 81 / SR 155Southbound exit to I-75; northbound entrance to I-75 Express Lane (depending on the flow of traffic)
221356Georgia 920.png Jonesboro Road
Stockbridge227365 I-675 north (SR 413) to I-285 – Augusta, GreenvilleThe I-675 end of the ramps is in Clayton County
228367 I-75 north (SR 401 north) – Downtown AtlantaAccess to southbound express lanes, northbound exit to mainline (depending on the flow of traffic)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I-75 South Metro". Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "2010 Managed Lane System Plan (MLSP)". Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  3. ^ "Technical Memorandum 12: Corridor Evaluation and Final Recommendations" (PDF). Georgia Department of Transportation. January 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "I-75 South Metro Express Lanes Critical Addition to Georgia Interstate". Dixie Contractor. November 1, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Wickert, David; Joyner, Tammy (January 19, 2017). "New I-75 express lanes to speed up traffic — at a price". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "Atlanta Regional MLIP Final Plan" (PDF). Georgia Department of Transportation. December 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Cochran, Noreen (October 2, 2018). "Henry County may pilot new above-ground, $1.4B transit system". Retrieved November 27, 2018.