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GA 400 Toll projects outside 285 perimeter

Posted: August 21st, 2012, 1:20 pm
by Nydia Tisdale
Ga. 400 Toll Will Remain Until 2020

Friday, Sept. 24, 2010
WSBTV.com

ATLANTA — State officials say the 50-cent toll paid by many drivers for using Georgia 400 will remain in place for another decade.

The State Road and Tollway Authority, led by Gov. Sonny Perdue, voted on Friday to continue the tolls until 2020 instead of removing them next year. The highway is used by thousands of metro Atlanta commuters each day.

Officials said 20 years ago that the toll would be removed when its bonds were paid off.

SRTA Director Gena Evans and Bert Brantley, a spokesman for Gov. Sonny Perdue, say much has changed in 20 years, including explosive population growth north of Atlanta, the area the highway serves.

Some Atlanta officials say extending the toll is required for much-needed projects, such as finishing the Georgia 400 interchange at Interstate Highway 85.

Channel 2 Action News obtained a list of those 11 projects:
  • • New ramps that connect GA400 and I-85 so motorists no longer need to travel on local surface streets, saving 4 to 7 minutes of travel time;

    • Improving the GA400 southbound to I-85 southbound merge so GA400 has a dedicated lane in I-85;

    • Widening GA400 from McFarland Rd. to SR20 with a third general purpose lane;

    • Extend the third northbound lane approximately ¾ miles to enhance the transition from the existing four lanes to two lanes near McFarland Rd that extend to SR20 in Forsyth County;

    • Extend the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and Highway Emergency Response Order (HERO) north from McFarland Rd to SR20 by providing video detection and ramp metering to more effectively manage congestion and reduce the impact of incidences along GA400;

    • Install ITS from Barnwell Rd on SR140/Holcomb Bridge Rd to SR9/Alpharetta Street, utilizing existing Active Traffic Management System devices to optimize costs and coordinate with the existing City of Roswell traffic infrastructure;

    • Construct a triple left turn lane for the Mansell Road corridor between the GA400 northbound exit ramp (Exit 8) and the North Point Parkway intersection with Mansell Rd to accommodate planned growth from the current 18,650 cars per day to the projected 59,700 cars per day in 2034;

    • Continue funding the GRTA Xpress service from Forsyth County to the North Springs MARTA rail station near Perimeter Center and direct service to Downtown Atlanta from Cumming;

    • Reconstruct the ramp from westbound Abernathy to northbound GA400 to allow motorists additional time and distance to merge onto GA400;

    • Increase capacity and make operational improvements to the three intersections that directly tie into the Northridge Road intersection at GA400, which are Northridge Road at Dunwoody Place, Roberts Drive and Somerset Court, and Roberts Drive and Dunwoody Place, and add a traffic roundabout at Somerset Court to the east;

    Initiate Preliminary Engineering (PE) of managed lanes between I-285 and McFarland Road.

Plan to end 400 toll is welcome news

Posted: September 5th, 2012, 12:23 pm
by Nydia Tisdale
Plan to end 400 toll is welcome news

ForsythNews.com
Editorial
July 22, 2012

Many of those who travel Ga. 400 on a daily basis have cursed the name Sonny Perdue for the past two years, ever since he chose to extend until 2020 the collection of tolls that were supposed to end in 2011.

For many, Perdue’s actions solidified their belief that government can’t be trusted, and added even more aggravation to daily commutes that already were off the top of the frustration scale.

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal took steps to make things better.

Deal announced Thursday that tolls scheduled to be collected until 2020 will be discontinued by the end of 2013.

Deal was not in the governor’s office when the decision was made to extend the tolls beyond 2011, and had promised to eliminate the cost for driving to and from downtown Atlanta on Ga. 400.

His decision to do so is certainly welcome news.

Many Georgians felt betrayed by Perdue’s actions on the tolls, and with good reason. The original toll was supposed to end once bonds issued for extending Ga. 400 into Buckhead had been retired. But when the time came to do so, the state reneged on its promise, continuing collecting money to pay for more road construction projects.

By doing so, state officials convinced many Georgians that their government simply could not be trusted to do what it promised, and that cynical perception has continued.

On Thursday, Deal referred to the decision to eliminate the tolls early as an effort to help restore trust in government. With a looming decision by Georgia voters on the TSPLOST, the governor also noted that the decision should boost public confidence in major construction projects.

It remains to be seen whether Deal’s promise to lift the tolls will have an impact at the TSPLOST vote, but there’s no doubt it will have an impact on thousands of local residents who battle the traffic into Atlanta and back each day.

Kudos to Gov. Deal for doing the right thing. We look forward to the day the bulldozers remove the toll booths and traffic flows without the necessity of quarters being tossed into metal bins.

GA 400 Toll Road returning?

Posted: March 11th, 2017, 11:55 am
by Nydia Tisdale
2017-2018 Regular Session - #SB183

State Road and Tollway Authority; definition; powers of the authority; provide


A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to the State Road and Tollway Authority, so as to provide for a definition; to provide for powers of the authority; to allow for the indefinite collection of tolls in certain instances; to provide for letting of contracts by competitive bids; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal 2012 State of the State

Posted: March 11th, 2017, 12:00 pm
by Nydia Tisdale


ANOTHER PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT IS PROVIDING INFRASTRUCTURE, AND BECAUSE IT IS A KEY BUILDING BLOCK OF JOB CREATION, IT IS A STAR THAT WILL GUIDE OUR COURSE FORWARD. IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY IN WHICH COMMERCE IS INCREASINGLY LONG DISTANCE AND RELIANT ON CUTTING-EDGE LOGISTICS, WE NEED A BIGGER, SMARTER TRANSPORTATION NETWORK TO MOVE PEOPLE AND PRODUCTS IN THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY POSSIBLE. THAT MEANS ROADS ON WHICH TRAFFIC AND FREIGHT MOVE FREELY. PORTS THAT HANDLE BIGGER SHIPS. AND AIRPORTS THAT PROCESS PEOPLE AND PACKAGES MORE EFFICIENTLY. TO REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN METRO-ATLANTA ALONG GEORGIA 400, WE WILL BE WORKING WITH THE DOT TO IMPLEMENT INNOVATIVE TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS. WE WILL MODIFY THE EXISTING SOUTHBOUND LANES FROM McFARLAND ROAD TO CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER, ALLOWING AN ADDITIONAL SOUTHBOUND THROUGH LANE. FROM THE CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER TO I-285 WE WILL IMPLEMENT FLEX SHOULDERS IN EACH DIRECTION. THESE IMPROVEMENTS WILL ALLOW TO US BETTER FACILITATE TRAFFIC DURING PEAK RUSH HOURS, ACCOMMODATING THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH THAT THE NORTHERN SUBURBS HAVE EXPERIENCED. RECENTLY, WE CALLED A HALT TO THE P-3 PROJECT FOR THE NORTHWEST CORRIDOR. WHILE THERE WERE MANY REASONS FOR DOING SO, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES THAT I CAN THINK OF WAS THAT I WAS, AM, AND WILL BE OPPOSED TO CONTRACTING AWAY GEORGIA'S SOVEREIGNTY FOR A PERIOD OF 60 TO 70 YEARS ON A TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR THAT IS SO VITAL TO THE FUTURE OF OUR STATE.

GA Governor Nathan Deal backs permanent tolls, P3 projects

Posted: March 11th, 2017, 11:55 pm
by Nydia Tisdale
PRESS RELEASE
March 11, 2017

Contact: Garland Favorito
(404) 664-4044

Deal Reverses Positions, Backs Permanent Tolls, P3 Projects

ATLANTA GA – SB183, a controversial new bill sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach and three of Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration floor leaders, is likely to change the face of Georgia’s highway system forever but that may not be good news. Opponents at a House Transportation Committee hearing last week contend that the changes will benefit well-connected private parties while Georgia citizens will incur permanent new road toll taxes that never sunset.

The SB183 bill text legalizes permanent toll roads, eliminates the competitive bid requirement for toll roads, and authorizes State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) to extend credit to private individuals and organizations involved in various aspects of road construction. The credit would be extended from taxpayer funds to “any other entity” without legislative approval. The changes allow SRTA to extend tolls permanently without legislative approval even if construction costs are recovered. SRTA would also be able to rout the funds to non-road projects that could be hundreds of miles away from where the extra toll funds are collected.

The plain bill language contains major reversals in Gov. Deal’s previous 2012 opposition to both permanent mandatory tolls and public-private road partnerships (P3) that he spoke against in his 2012 State of the State Address. In that address when he referred to the Northwest Corridor, Deal said: “I was, am, and will be opposed to contracting away Georgia’s sovereignty for a period of 60 or 70 years over a transportation corridor that is so vital to the future of our state.”

Committee members expressed concern that loosely worded bill language would extend credit to a private individual or company for “acquisition” of construction assets, an entire transportation project, or land for right-of-way. Bill proponents contend that extension of credit is needed for private partners to access tax free bonds and that “value engineering” can be more cost effective than competitive bidding. No example was cited in the hearing of a completed project where value engineering was more cost effective than competitive bidding.

The committee will likely amend SB183 before hearing it again on Thursday, March 16 at 2pm in Room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. (CLOB) Opponents hope that the committee focuses on provisions they claim can create a P3 “cash cow” at taxpayer expense and content that legalizes permanent tolls without prohibiting mandatory road tolls or tolls on existing road capacity.

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#SB183 House Transportation Committee Hearing

Posted: March 12th, 2017, 2:20 pm
by Nydia Tisdale


House Transportation Committee Hearing on Senate Bill 183 on March 9, 2017.

Video by Ted Metz for Operation Educate.