ATLANTA - The tolls along Georgia 400 should come down -- as planned -- this fall. Just don't expect the same of the toll plaza.
That's when the state Department of Transportation says the tolls will end and Ga. 400 will be a free ride on November 21.
"We will have a contractor on board within the next few weeks," says the DOT's Jill Goldberg, "and that's when we will be able to nail down some of the specifics on it."
The tolls have been in place on Ga. 400 since 1992. While they may be ending, the actual toll booths are another story.
"It absolutely is not going to be as simple as just taking them down," she says.
The booths present a much more complex problem for the contractor.
Each booth has a tunnel that allows the toll collector to enter and leave easily. Those tunnels will have to be filled in and the roadway reinforced.
In addition, the highway is three lanes in each direction, except for when it widens into the toll plaza. That means the road will have to be restriped to accommodate just three labs northbound and southbound.
So, if you're waiting for the booths to come down, it might take a while.
"That actual destruction of the toll plazas will probably not be completed until May of 2014," says Goldberg.
As for the actual end of the tolls, she says a briefing of the DOT Board confirms that, barring some unforeseen circumstance, they should come to an end the week before Thanksgiving later this year.