World Class Infrastructure

Strategically Expand Transportation System

Strategically Expand Transportation System 2017-08-30T09:34:13+00:00


Strategically Expand Transportation System

When applicable based on a community’s unique context, roadway expansions should be implemented as complete streets to accommodate people driving, riding transit, walking and bicycling. The expansion of roadways into rural areas should emphasize facilities that support economic competitiveness by improving multimodal connectivity between centers or by addressing critical safety needs.



The Atlanta Region’s Plan includes the construction of a network of managed toll lanes on key highway corridors, adding new highway capacity and making trips on these busy corridors more reliable. Transit vehicles, such as GRTA’s regional Xpress bus system, will be able to use these new lanes, offering faster and more reliable commutes. The purpose of managed toll lanes is to offer a congestion-free alternative for people willing to carpool, ride a bus, or pay a toll.

Express Toll Lane

Managed Toll Lane Projects in Metro Atlanta

The Atlanta Region’s Plan allocates $10.1 billion through the year 2040 to build, operate, maintain and pay debt service on the express lane network. Debt service on some projects will continue beyond the horizon year of this plan. Currently, approximately 69 miles of freeway lanes have managed lanes (including the untolled high occupancy vehicles lanes inside I-285), with another 39 miles under construction. The plan will add another 100 miles of freeway corridors within the region to the network.

I-85 North (DeKalb and Gwinnett counties)

  • Length: 16 miles
  • Toll: Variable, minimum $0.16 and maximum $13.95 (entire length)
  • Usage: 24,000+ vehicles per day

I-75 South (Henry County)

  • Length: 12 miles
  • Toll: Variable; minimum $0.50 and maximum $10.80 (entire length)
  • Usage: 7,000+ vehicles per day

Northwest Corridor (I-75 & I-575, Cobb & Cherokee counties)

  • Length: 30 miles
  • Cost: $834 million
  • Completion: Summery 2018

I-85 North Extension (Gwinnett County)

  • Length: 10 miles
  • Cost: $178 million
  • Completion: Summer 2018
  • Ga. 400
  • I-285 – West, North and East
  • I-20 West
  • I-20 East
  • I-85 North (additional lanes)
  • I-75 South (gap closure)
Plan Details
ARC Managed Lanes thumb

How Toll Lanes Work

Most vehicles must pay a toll to use the lanes. The price rises and falls depending on the level of congestion in the highway corridor, in order to keep traffic flowing freely in the HOT lanes. Buses and carpools with three or more people per vehicle can use HOT lanes free of charge.

The two projects being built now include reversible lanes, with traffic directed toward town in the morning rush hour and reversed, through signage and gates, in the afternoon. Projects that are in the planning stages are envisioned to have one lane in each direction.

There are two types of toll lanes in the Atlanta region

High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes: Vehicles with one and two occupants must pay a variable toll; carpools and transit vehicles ride free

Express Toll Lanes (ETL): All non-transit vehicles must pay a variable toll, no matter the number of people riding.


Improved Network of Arterial Roads and Highways

Major Roadway Improvements

The region’s network of major arterial roads provide key connections to major job centers, schools, and shopping and recreation activities. The Atlanta Region’s Plan includes 185 arterial and freeway improvement projects that will help ease congestion, improve the movement of freight, and improve safety.

The projects will add a total of 1,035 lane-miles of capacity by 2040 at a cost of $7.7 billion. One-third of the cost will be borne by local governments through SPLOSTs and other funding sources.

  • SR 92 realignment (Douglas)
  • SR 20 widening (Cherokee and Forsyth)
  • Tara Blvd. widening (Clayton)
  • Macland Road widening (Cobb and Paulding)
  • Lithonia Industrial Blvd. extension (DeKalb)
  • East Fayetteville Bypass (Fayette)
  • Atlanta Highway widening (Forsyth)
  • Buford Highway widening (Gwinnett)
  • I-85 widening (Gwinnett)
  • Salem Road widening (Rockdale and Newton)

Plan Details
Realignment of SR 92 around downtown Douglasville

The realignment of SR 92 around downtown Douglasville, currently under construction, eliminates a severe bottleneck along a key cross-regional corridor.

Major Intersection Improvements

Improvements to key intersections can help ease traffic bottlenecks and improve mobility in the region. These projects may include reconfiguring existing lanes, repairing or replacing bridges, reconfiguring on/off ramps to improve traffic flow, adding lanes and building new interchanges.

The Atlanta Region’s plan includes: 13 new interchanges and 22 major upgrades to existing interchanges, to be completed by 2040 at an estimated cost of $2.9 billion.

  • I-285 at SR 400 – Reconstruction (Fulton)
  • I-285 West at I-20 West – Reconstruction (City of Atlanta)
  • SR 316 – Six new interchanges (Gwinnett and Barrow)
  • I-285 East at I-20 East – reconstruction (DeKalb)
  • I-28 West at Camp Creek Parkway – Reconstruct as diverging diamond (S. Fulton)

Plan Details

PLAN IN ACTION: I-285 & GA 400

i285 at 400

I-285 and SR 400 is one of the region’s most congested intersections, serving the fast-growing Perimeter Center area and facilitating the movement of people and goods throughout the metro area. This intersection is being totally redesigned, at a cost of $803 million. The improvements include flyover ramps to eliminate unsafe and inefficient left-hand merges, as well as new collector-distributor lanes to separate through traffic from vehicles that are entering and exiting via ramps on both I-285 and SR 400.



ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative is a grant program that incentivizes local jurisdictions to re-envision their communities in a way that increases walking and biking options, encourages healthy lifestyles and provides improved access to transit and jobs. The goal: to reduce car trips and improve air quality in the region.

Since the LCI program began in 2000, the vehicle miles traveled per capita each day has dropped 13 percent, from 32.1 miles to 28 miles. Since 2000, LCI has helped fund $8.2 million in planning studies and provided $172 million for transportation projects, including sidewalks, bike lanes and roadway and intersection improvements.

streetscapes in Emory Village

An LCI study helped fund a roundabout and new streetscapes in Emory Village. Today, it’s a less congested, safer area, bustling with shops and restaurants

 It is the policy of ARC to:

  • Prioritize solutions that improve multimodal connectivity
  • Direct federal funding for road capacity expansion to the regional strategic transportation system, including the managed lanes system
  • Road expansion projects in rural areas should support economic competitiveness by improving multi-modal connectivity between centers
  • Implement a complete streets approach on roadway projects that is sensitive to the existing community