Georgia governor ends tolls on Atlanta highway

The Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority (GSRTA) said that Nov. 21 is tentatively set as the date for ending toll collection on the GA400 tollroad north of central Atlanta. In an announcement, Gov. Nathan Deal took personal responsibility for the decision to end the state’s only full user-pay toll road.

Deal linked the end of tolls to the payoff of the original bonds floated to finance the construction of the toll road and said the state had promised to remove tolls when the original 20 year bonds were paid down.
In the last full year, GSRTA reported the busy toll road did 41.2 million transactions or an average of 113,000 per day. Since the 6.2 mile toll road has a simple barrier plaza and no intermediate interchanges or ramps that count represents the average daily traffic — close to capacity for 2x3 lanes. Average weekday traffic has been put at 120,000.

Tollroads News predicts that if traffic volumes increase by 10% to 20% with the end of the toll there could be “serious new congestion and a big increase in travel times — and demands for 4th laning with no revenue stream to fund it.”

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