The Northwest Corridor Project is a combination of two projects that were initially undertaken separately by GDOT and GRTA.
The Georgia Department of Transportation’s project to improve the I-75 corridor began as a widening project to extend the existing HOV system from its current terminus at Akers Mill Road to Wade Green Road. It also included adding HOV lanes on I-575 from the I-75 Interchange to Sixes Road. Work began on mapping and concept development at the end of November 2001.
Concurrently, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority was exploring transit related improvements in the same general area in the northwestern portion of the metropolitan Atlanta Area. The Northwest Connectivity Study concluded with the selection of Bus Rapid Transit operating in the HOV lanes along I-75 as the preferred alternative.
Realizing that there were many common goals associated with the two projects, the decision was made by GDOT and GRTA to combine the projects from a design and environmental documentation standpoint. Work began on this combined project in May 2004.
As the combined project was being developed, the State Road and Tollway Authority published draft reports on two studies in the Atlanta region in April 2005. They were entitled “High Occupancy Toll Lanes Potential for Implementation in the Atlanta Region” and “Truck Only Toll Facilities Potential for Implementation in the Atlanta Region”. Collectively, these reports are known as the HOT/TOT Study. The study concluded that the addition of truck only lanes to the Interstate corridors outside the Perimeter could produce substantial travel time savings for motorists in the general purpose lanes. It makes sense that removing a significant percentage of the large trucks with trailers from the general purpose lanes will help since these vehicles do not respond readily to speed changes and make lane changes difficult. The HOT/TOT Study basically reached the same conclusion.
In August 2005, GDOT made the decision to add truck only lanes to the study on the I-75 corridor. At the same time the project limit on I-75 was extended approximately 6000 feet from Wade Green Road to north of Hickory Grove Road. A new HOV access point will be added at Hickory Grove Road. Work began immediately on adding truck only lanes to the roadway and BRT station concepts and modifying the already completed chapters of the Draft EIS.
It is also very important to note that, along with physical changes, a new element has been added to the approach to this project.
In November 2004, Georgia Transportation Partners (GTP), a team of national and local private transportation builders, submitted an unsolicited Public Private Initiatives (PPI) proposal to GDOT for the improvements on the Northwest Corridor. This proposal was submitted to GDOT under recently enacted legislation by the Georgia General Assembly.
Under its proposal, GTP would partner with GDOT to design and build the project The proposal includes innovative financing and tolling of managed lanes. All tolls would be collected by the State Road and Toll Authority. The project would be financed through a mix of federal funds, toll-backed revenue bonds and state sources. Under the public-private initiative approach, GTP proposes to save both time and money over the traditional transportation project development process by accelerating the project delivery.
In May 2006, GDOT officially welcomed Georgia Transportation Partners to the Northwest Corridor Team by signing a Developer Services Agreement. The agreement allows GTP to provide support in some aspects of the preliminary engineering and the environmental process for the Northwest Corridor Project. For more information on the PPI proposal please visit GDOT’s website at http://www.dot.state.ga.us/ and click on the Public Private Initiatives link.
|Revision Date: 10/24/07|