Traffic on I-75 south of Atlanta is often stressful and nerve-wracking. To cut down on traffic and make the roads safer for everyone, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is toying with the idea of making certain lanes for trucks only.
While some are incorrectly reporting this proposal as a “trucks-only highway,” the actual plan is to add two lanes to the existing highway and ban cars (more precisely, four-wheel traffic) from those lanes, employing barriers to separate them from the other traffic lanes.
The two trucks-only lanes would begin in the northbound lanes of I-75, roughly at the I-75/I-475 interchange near Macon and continue north for 40 miles to the McDonough area, a little south of Atlanta. The goal is to make the flow of truck traffic into Atlanta better than the current bottleneck situation. GDOT expects final construction to occur between 2025 and 2030.
Why Is GDOT Considering Trucks-Only Lanes on That Section of the Highway?
This section of I-75 has heavy traffic congestion from both commuters and commercial vehicles. In addition to the local traffic, freight from the Port of Savannah travels on this roadway.
According to the GDOT, the road is handling far more traffic than its design capacity. Since it needs to add lanes to this section of highway already, the GDOT has nothing to lose by trying this innovative approach.
How Much Will These Trucks-Only Lanes Cost?
The current estimate is $1.8 billion. Of course, massive public projects often experience cost overruns, so the actual price tag remains to be seen. The good news is that the federal government would pick up the tab for 80 percent of the cost.
Why Might Trucks-Only Lanes Be a Good Idea?
The GDOT says that the new lanes will improve safety and cut down maintenance costs. It claims the two new lanes would reduce delays by 40 percent by the year 2030, even accounting for increased traffic between now and then.
Many drivers favor the separation of trucks and cars on the road. Truck drivers are frustrated by car operators disobeying the rules of the road, while many motorists are afraid of big trucks on the highways.
What Are the Arguments Against the Trucks-Only Lanes?
Some object to spending nearly $2 billion on this project, when so many other projects sit unfunded. Others are skeptical that the trucks-only lanes will work in the long run, because if traffic eases up initially, more people and businesses will move to that area, creating even more traffic.
Our congested Atlanta roadways have seen every type of crash. The accident injury team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can let you know if you might have a claim for compensation in a wreck that another party caused. Call us today at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.