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I-85 HOT lane toll hits record $8.50

The cost to drive the 16-mile stretch of “HOT” express lane on I-85 southbound in Gwinnett and DeKalb County soared to a record $8.50 Tuesday morning, eclipsing the old mark by 50 cents.

The High Occupancy Toll lane’s cost is set on a sliding scale depending on the level of congestion on I-85 and in the HOT lane.

According to the State Road and Tollway Authority website, “when HOT lanes become too congested, the price increases and this in turn reduces the number of cars entering the lane.”

The website says the authority’s goal is to keep traffic in the HOT lane moving at an average speed of greater than 45 mph during peak hours.

The maximum toll has been gradually climbing since the lanes opened on I-85 northbound and southbound 25 months ago.

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Mark Arum in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said the cost to drive the entire 16 miles hit $7 for the first time on June 26, and first hit $8 on Sept. 10.

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