New express lanes may have drivers paying to drive along parts of GA 400

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it has approves $184 million in funding to help fund the creation of express toll lanes along GA 400.

Longtime 400 drivers remember the dreaded toll booth that lasted long after the road was paid for, but the new plans along the roadway would be similar to the Peach Pass lanes that have been built along several metro roadways, which have adjustable tolls based on the volume of traffic.

[READ: GDOT looking into HOT lanes along Ga. 400]

Drivers and transportation officials hope the new lanes will ease the constant congestion.

“We’ve lived here for 20 years, and every year it’s gotten worse and worse,” driver Debbie Jacobson said.

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Millie Meadows told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that the traffic makes it hard for her to get to her job.

“Traffic is so much congested that you can’t even get to work early,” Meadows said.

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The Funding from USDOT will help start the process of building the buffer-separated lanes along 400.

They are expected to run in both directions from McFarland Parkway to the North Springs MARTA station.

The estimated price tag for the project is about $1.3 billion. Meadows thinks that kind of project can only make traffic better.

[READ: DOT reveals new images of Ga. 400 and I-285 project]

“If they can do that, that will help the motorists very, very well to get to work early,” Meadows told Elliot.

While some wonder if more toll lanes actually work to reduce traffic, Jacobson said it’s got to be better than what’s there now.

“I think that it would help. I know I would get a pass and go down there. It would make it easier to go downtown, to go to the airport,” Jacobson said.

These are still primary plans. There is no word on a starting or finishing date for the project.

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