The federal government is pledging significant funding for the addition of new express lanes on Ga. 400.
In a news release, Rep. Rob Woodall, who represents portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, announced this week the U.S. Department of Transportation will announce $184 million in Infrastructure For Rebuilding America grant funds for the Georgia Department of Transportation for the construction of the express lanes.
“Make no mistake, this kind of success doesn’t just happen. It is a result of the amazing partnership and leadership we have back home,” Woodall, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in the release. “Forsyth County residents, Seventh District constituents and Georgians in general have led by example when it comes to investing our own dollars, time and resources to building and improving our communities and infrastructure.
“This decision by the DOT to recognize that effort in this way is further proof of the amazing things we’re getting done together, and I’m excited about what’s to come.”
The project will add two express lanes on each side of the road from the North Springs Marta Station in Sandy Springs to McGinnis Ferry Road and one express lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry to McFarland Parkway.
Express lanes are optional toll lanes along existing lanes aimed at allowing drivers to bypass congestion.
The lanes are not planned to reduce the number of normal lanes on the road, including new lanes funded through a $200 million transportation bond approved by voters in 2014.
At a work session last week, Forsyth County Commissioners heard an update on the project from Tim Matthews with the Georgia Department of Transportation.
“Obviously, the intent here is to provide mobility and a reliable trip time. That’s the focus for building these express lanes,” Matthews said in the meeting.
Right now, the project is going through traffic analysis, coordination with stakeholders and environmental fieldwork. The next steps are an environmental phase, future traffic volume forecasting and right of way acquisition work.
Construction is slated to begin in 2021 and be completed by 2024.
Locals will have a chance to give input on the project in September, and plans will solidify in 2019.
Ga. 400 is one of 11 Major Mobility Investment Program projects across the state, which also includes express lanes on I-285, interstate widenings for options of I-85 and I-16, commercial vehicle lanes on I-75 near Macon and interchange reconstruction projects on I-16 and I-285.
Once other projects are completed, the new Ga. 400 lanes will tie in with express lanes on I-285 between I-75 and I-85.
The 11 projects total $11 billion.