The $150 million project, to be paid for with bonds and federal funds, would place new lanes on a 12-mile strip of I-75, on what is now a grass median, between McDonough Road and Stockbridge Highway at the I-675 junction.
The department held two public information open houses in McDonough last week.
GDOT engineer Darryl VanMeter said at last Thursday’s event that the combined attendance of about 300 residents weighed in for and against the project.
“The concept of managed lanes is new to Henry County and to this area. It’s a tough concept to explain and get people comfortable with,” he said.
McDonough resident Doug Bagwell, who attended the open house last Tuesday, said he opposed the project.
“I’m really against it because I don’t think it’s going to work for the people of this county who can’t afford the toll,” he said. “Most people can’t afford it. It’s going to be $6.50 at peak hours.”
The project shares aspects of the I-85 HOT lanes in Gwinnett County, which opened in 2011.
The managed lanes would have tolls that vary with traffic volume and demand, payable with a Peach Pass.
But, unlike I-85, which converted an existing lane to a toll lane, the I-75 project will add new lanes and physically separate them from the existing lanes with a barrier.
“This is a completely different system,” Bartlett said. “This would be buffer-separated. There won’t be any weaving between the two.”