U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, seen here at a ceremony to reopen I-85 last year, visited Alpharetta Friday to highlight the federal government's $184 million commitment to the Ga. 400 toll lanes project. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

U.S. transportation secretary praises Ga. 400 toll lanes project

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao praised Georgia’s plans to build express toll lanes on Ga. 400 during a stop in Alpharetta Friday afternoon.

Chao came to Georgia to tout the Department of Transportation’s recent announcement that it would cover $184 million of the $1.8 billion construction cost of the new express lanes in Fulton and Forsyth counties. Most of the money will come from a gas tax increase and other revenue approved by the General Assembly in 2015. 

Construction of the 17 miles of Ga. 400 lanes is expected to start in 2021. They are part of a planned 120-mile system of toll lanes across metro Atlanta. 

The lanes will allow commuters to travel at least 45 mph along one of the busiest stretches of highway in metro Atlanta – if they’re willing to pay a toll. 

The lanes also will carry transit buses. Last week Gov. Nathan Deal announced the state would spend $100 million for transit interchanges along Ga. 400. 

“This important project will enhance safety, decrease travel times and improve the quality of life for the people in this area,” Chao told a group of political and business leaders who gathered Friday at the Ga. 400 interchange at McFarland Road.

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...