According to State Road and Tollway Authority Deputy Director Bert Brantley, who gave a presentation about the demolition at Monday’s Alpharetta City Council meeting, the agency has already begun removing signs for the toll and shifting Peach Pass lanes to accommodate a third temporary lane.
Brantley said the main goals of the $3.5 million demolition project are to ensure the safety of drivers, toll workers and construction workers and traffic maintenance.
“Obviously people are really concerned about how traffic’s going to be impacted by this,” he said.
Though the toll fees will be removed, the toll plaza will not be demolished until the first quarter of next year.
Brantley said no “heavy demolition” will take place until after the holidays to avoid traffic impacts.
“If you look at what the goal of [Ga.] 400 was and what it was intended to do and what it has done over the past 20 years, I think it’s a real success story,” Brantley said of the tolled portion of the highway, which was constructed in 1993.
After the toll plaza is removed, the extra lanes flowing to and from the booths will be consolidated; the agency will be replacing six acres of concrete and asphalt with grass on both sides of the highway.
Brantley said the toll brings in $20 million a year, and funds have been used to pay for the construction of the roadway and operations of the toll plaza. The toll has also paid for the HERO expanded emergency response services.
Funds will also be used to pay for the new connector ramps connecting I-85 southbound to Ga. 400 northbound and Ga. 400 southbound to I-85 northbound. Brantley said the new ramps would be completed by the middle of January.