BRADENTON, Fla. Georgia made the final bond payment of $25.6 million to Wells Fargo on Dec. 1 ending the debt and tolls on the Georgia 400.
Tolls on a 6.2-mile limited-access extension of the Georgia 400 were discontinued when Gov. Nathan Deal collected the last toll on Nov. 22.
Deal pledged during his 2010 campaign to end the fees.
“I made a promise that the tolls would end when the bond debt was paid and I am proud to mark the end of that debt, and the fulfillment of that commitment,” Deal said. “I am happy to announce that Ga. 400 motorists can now keep their change.”
The Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority has hired Southeastern Site Development Inc. to demolish the toll booths at a cost of $3.5 million. That work will take place between January and May next year.
“This is a day that will go down in history,” said SRTA Executive Director Christopher Tomlinson. The “Georgia 400 has been an economic powerhouse for the Buckhead and north Fulton areas and beyond for two decades.”
The extension was completed in 1993 to provide better access to downtown Atlanta from north Fulton and Forsyth counties. Nearly 120,000 commuters used the road on weekdays, spending an average of $59,000 daily.
Meanwhile, work continues on the state’s largest-ever transportation project, the tolled 29.7-mile Northwest Corridor Express Project, which is estimated to cost $840 million.
The Georgia Transportation Board has chosen a team of Atlanta and Florida contractors to build the managed lanes to relieve severe congestion in the Atlanta region by adding tolled, reversible lanes along Interstates 75 and 575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
On Nov 21, GDOT announced that it received a Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act loan for $275 million to support financing of the Northwest Corridor Express project.
The tollway authority will issue up to $385 million of toll bonds and $125 million of grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, or Garvees, for a portion of the financing. GDOT will dedicate up to $536 million from state and federal motor-fuel sales taxes to the project.
Construction is expected to start next year and the corridor will open to traffic in early 2018.