Georgia DOT's new road-building timeline: more details

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday, the Georgia Department of Transportation has pushed back construction of metro Atlanta toll lanes while accelerating road projects elsewhere.

Toll lanes along the top half of the Perimeter were originally scheduled to be completed by 2028. Now they won’t be finished until 2032. Completion of toll lanes on Ga. 400 in Fulton and Forsyth counties has been pushed back from 2024 to 2027.

Meanwhile, GDOT is accelerating construction of truck lanes on I-75 between Macon and McDonough and the widening of I-85 to U.S. 129 northeast of Atlanta.

It's a major reshuffling of the timeline for the 10-year road-building program unveiled by then-Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016. GDOT cited numerous reasons for the changes, including increased freight traffic out of Savannah and a desire to break up the "top end" I-285 toll lanes into smaller projects to encourage more construction companies to bid on the work.

Here are two GDOT timelines that illustrate the changes to the state’s “Major Mobility Investment Program.” The first is from 2017. You can click on the image to make it bigger:

The second is the new timeline, unveiled Monday:

The new timeline includes half a dozen smaller projects along I-285. They originally were part of larger express lanes projects, but will be broken into smaller projects.

Among other things, GDOT says the delay in toll-road construction will give it more time to work with local officials who have requested various changes to the construction plans. The agency says the delay also will allow it to consider transit options for the affected corridors.

You can read more about GDOT's changes to the road construction program here.