Q&A on the News

Q: The toll lanes on Ga. 400 were supposed to end when the road was paid off. Has it been paid off and if so, why do we still have the toll booths? Who decided to keep them?

W. Thaxton, Dacula

A: The State Road and Tollway Authority, led by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, voted last year in September to continue the Ga. 400 tolls until 2020. He said at the time: "There are vastly needed projects we need to do sooner rather than later" with the new toll money. However, bids for projects done so far have come in well below SRTA's estimates, and SRTA had enough money in reserves to fund the projects without continuing the toll. The original promise had been that the tolls would come down once the bonds paid to build the roadway were repaid this year.. The final $8.8 million in Ga. 400 bonds were paid off July 1. The tolls were suspended in late June, partly to make a technology switch from the Cruise Card to the Peach Pass system, but they were extended for a week to honor the original promise that the toll would stop. The tolls resumed July 1.

Q: Was the debt ceiling raised through the end of calendar year 2012, or fiscal year 2012, which ends Sept. 30, 2012?

Jim Farley, Smyrna

A: It is through the end of calendar year 2012.

Lori Johnston wrote this column; Ariel Hart contributed. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).