ATLANTA (AP) Georgia motorists don’t seem to be paying much attention yet to what will be the largest highway construction project in state history.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the state is a few months away from signing a final contract for $840 million to add optional toll lanes to Interstates 75 and 575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
The Georgia Department of Transportation Web site only received 10 public comments about the proposed bidders in July and less than 50 people attended two public information session. But officials said they expect the public to embrace the project once they learn more.
Work on the reversible toll lanes is supposed to start late next year and be finished by spring 2018.
Lois Brett of Woodstock told the Journal-Constitution she hadn’t heard about the 30 mi. (48 km) of toll lanes. "I probably wouldn’t use it unless there was a wreck and I had to because I had a screaming baby in the back seat," she said while taking her two children to the library.
Kennesaw State University students Jasmine Neville and Tia Mitchem said they couldn’t afford the toll lanes. "That’s my food money," Neville said.
The toll lanes are the state’s principal plan for alleviating congestion in the metro Atlanta area. Area voters last year rejected a penny sales tax to fund transportation projects, and officials say gas taxes aren’t enough alone to widen interstate highways without adding a toll.
The area on I-75 just south of I-575 is one of the most congested in the region, carrying about 200,000 vehicles a day.