New plans revealed to add express lanes to top end of I-285

After years of major road construction across metro Atlanta, state officials are in the third phase of planning for their biggest project yet -- a $4 billion expansion of Interstate 285 along the top end of the perimeter.

WSB′s Kristen Holloway has learned that the project is several years into the future but once it is complete, there will be four express lanes that will be built above I-285.

It will look similar to the express lanes that were built along Interstate 75 in Cobb County.

The project will focus on relieving congestion and providing free rides on public transit.

“The MOU signed today represents the third phase of study regarding lack of transit options on 285,” said Chris Tomlinson, Executive Director of the ATL Authority. “We’re looking at the state’s investment for express lanes for new Peach Pass lanes and we’re not just thinking about the toll paying motorists.”

Tomlinson said public transit will get to use the express lanes for free.

Also, the express lanes will cross through four counties: Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett.

“We are coming together to explore where is the best location for stations, what will it cost and how will we integrate it with that project,” Tomlinson said.

Essentially, four lanes will be added to I-285 — two express lanes built above the highway on each side.

Tomlinson told Holloway that the hope is the new lanes will relieve some congestion along the busy interstate.

“People have more choices on how to get around. So we’re not taking away the existing choices but we’re adding it. Now you’re getting the benefit of the reliability, the faster speeds, whether you choose to drive or whether you choose to use a transit option,” Tomlinson said.

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