Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), state officials—including Gov. Nathan Deal—and project partners celebrated the completion and opening of the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
Construction for the project began in October 2014 and the lanes opened to traffic on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.
“The opening of the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes is a historic moment for transportation in Georgia,” said Deal. “A robust transportation network is one of the most vital components for sustained economic development and establishing solid infrastructure is essential for managing the transportation needs of our residents, business community and visitors. This corridor of I-75 has seen significant growth in the past two decades and while no one strategy can wholly eliminate traffic congestion, we are combining innovative transportation options like reversible express lanes to ensure more consistent and reliable trip times.”
This $834 million infrastructure project, the largest of its kind in state history, adds 29.7 miles of reversible express lanes along I-75 from Akers Mill Road to Hickory Grove Road, and along I-575 from I-75 to Sixes Road. The newly constructed barrier-separated express lanes operate southbound in the morning and reverse to northbound in the evening. The lanes feature dynamic pricing with rates rising as demand increases during peak travel times and falling at off-peak times.
“The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes represent one of the most transformative transportation projects in state history, enhancing both mobility and choice for motorists in this part of the state,” said GDOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “We are deeply appreciative of the leadership of Gov. Deal, the Georgia General Assembly and all of the agencies, organizations, municipalities and people who have contributed to the successful delivery of this project.”
GDOT is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the roadway. Operation of the pricing aspects of the lanes, including all customer service functions related to the Peach Pass system, is managed by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA).
The express lanes are open to drivers with a registered Peach Pass in vehicles with two axles and six wheels or less. Registered transit, vanpools and emergency vehicles are exempt from paying a fee. The express lanes are free for motorists with a registered Peach Pass through Friday, Sept. 21.