Atlanta - The final funding is now in place for reversible toll lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx traveled to Atlanta to deliver news that the federal government will loan the state $275 million, about a third of the total cost of the 30-mile project.
“In this era of tight budgets and limited federal funds, we have to be just as innovative in how pay for projects as we are in how we build them,” he says.
The loan is part of the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA). The state will repay the money at 3.79 percent interest over 35 years and will not have to pay principal for the first five years.
“If it were to be built without tolls or TIFIA, it would take the state’s entire transportation budget, both federal aid funds and Georgia state funds, to build it,” says Foxx.
The Northwest Corridor Project is scheduled to be completed by 2018, one year after the new Braves stadium opens in Cobb County.
Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee was on hand for the announcement and says the project should be of great benefit to the area.
“We see this as a win-win; not only will we get this moving along to have traffic moving through the corridor more efficiently and effectively, but the other things we’re doing with the Windy Hill DDI (diverging diamond interchange) and the other improvements we’re making in the area, I’m confident the traffic in that area is going to be better than it is today even after the stadium is built,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Lee says if anything, the reversible lanes will help commuters avoid the traffic headed to the new stadium.