There’s a big announcement for the quarter million drivers that drive down I-285 every weekday. The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) teamed with several organizations. With their powers combined, they hope to incite regional connectivity, reduce traffic congestion, and increase the economic development benefits. It’s a lofty goal, but according to some, it’s completely manageable. In fact, they already have a plan to do it. Their plan is “The I-285 Top End Express Lanes Transit Funding and Collaboration Memorandum of Understanding”. It’s not the most catchy title, and folks around the Georgia DOT just call it MOU. When complete, it should at the very least help reduce traffic on the I-285 outside of Atlanta.
The parties that be include three large organizations and four metro counties. The organizations named include the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (ATL), the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). These organizations, along with tax dollars from four metro Atlanta counties, will work together. They will help manage the project, understand community issues, and environmental impacts.
I-285 Construction Plans
The project will run along the top of I-285 from I-20 on the west to I-20 on the east. It will include express lanes. These express lanes will have a barrier that separates the lanes. Transit vehicles and vanpools will have free access to the express lanes. All others can potentially drive the lanes too, provided they pay a toll. The idea is that these express lanes can alleviate some of the buildup on the busy I-285.
They shook hands, they signed papers, and everyone is excited about the MOU. However, they did not release a timetable for the project or final project budgets yet. MOU is in play to get the cost estimates and set a foreseeable timeline. They will work together in the hopes of getting their plan in place and begin construction as soon as possible.