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VIDEO: I-75 Commercial Lanes Project in Georgia Delayed More than Three Years

Thu March 10, 2022 - Southeast Edition

A project to create commercial vehicle lanes along I-75 in Georgia has gotten a years-long delay, WGXA News in Macon reported March 7.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) effort is designed to add two commercial truck lanes on the northbound side of the interstate before ending south of Atlanta.

The expanded roadway would extend from the I-75/I-475 interchange in Monroe County to the Georgia Highway 20 interchange in Henry County, and would span north across five counties: Monroe, Lamar, Butts, Spalding and Henry.

Under GDOT's original timeline, the project would have been "substantially completed" by 2027, but revised plans give it a 3½-year extension.

Meg Pirkle, a chief engineer of the transportation agency, informed Monroe County Manager Jim Hedges recently that a contractor for the initiative would not be chosen until the end of 2026, after which the design and construction phases could begin.

WGXA News reported that Pirkle's letter to Hedges read, "These efforts will help reduce the construction duration and impacts to the traveling public, increase industry competition and improve project pricing."

Originally, a contractor was to be chosen at the beginning of 2023, followed by a construction start in 2024, the TV news outlet noted.

Pirkle said the input of "industry representatives" led to the decision to change the project's timeline.

According to GDOT, the new timeframe will "allow the limited number of developers to be responsive based on capabilities, labor and supplies, as well as reduce project risk."

Pirkle's letter added that GDOT also will use the additional time for environmental studies, securing federal approvals and permits, acquiring rights-of-way and helping to relocate conflicting utilities.

New Roadway to Be Barrier-Separated from Car Lanes

When completed, GDOT said the I-75 Commercial Vehicle Lanes project will improve mobility and safety for shipping operators and passenger vehicles by constructing two, barrier-separated freight truck-only lanes northbound from Macon to the McDonough area.

The total length of the non-tolled lane project is approximately 41 mi., GDOT noted on the agency's online project page.

The I-75 Commercial Vehicle Lanes project, according to the state transportation department, also will modernize freight infrastructure and operations to grow Georgia's economy, increase its competitiveness and improve the area's quality of life.

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