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Overnight work will close lanes on Interstate 85
HOT lanes project is moving along
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Lane closures are set for next week on Interstate 85 as the Georgia Department of Transportation moves along on efforts to convert high-occupancy vehicle lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties.

The contractor, World Fiber Technologies, is set to work day and night next week on the Express Lane project as weather permits, DOT officials say.

Next week's work entails closing the outside lane of I-85 northbound from Pleasant Hill Road to Ga. 316 in Gwinnett County from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.

"If the weather cooperates, crews will continue boring under the interstate to run the hundreds of miles of conduit needed for the technology that will operate the Express Lane system," said Randall Davis, DOT district construction engineer.

Crews also are set to work 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to inspect and repair existing communications equipment. The outside southbound lane of I-85 will be closed from Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Pleasantdale Road.

Tuesday, crews will install additional guardrail along interstate entrance and exit ramps. Traffic on ramps will be shifted over as crews work.

They also are slated to work on the southbound entrance ramp at Pleasant Hill Road.

The state's plan is to convert HOV lanes to HOT lanes so that solo commuters facing heavy traffic in regular lanes will be able to travel in the express lanes for a fee based on traffic congestion.

Signs will announce prices so motorists can decide whether to enter a lane, and the average toll is expected to be between $5 and $6.

Registered transit buses, motorcycles, alternative fueled vehicles and vehicles with three or more passengers will be allowed to use the HOT lanes for free.

The $11.7 million project involves installation of 16 miles of fiber and signs along I-85 between Chamblee-Tucker Road in DeKalb and Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett, and along Ga. 316 between I-85 and Riverside Parkway.

It's slated to be finished in August.

A $110 million Congestion Reduction Demonstration grant is paying for the effort.

The grant, awarded in 2008, also pays for transit improvements, including 36 new buses and the expansion of at the Park and Ride lot off Ga. 20 and Interstate 985.


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