The Georgia Department of Transportation and Atlanta-area commuters and motorists recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes in northwest metro Atlanta by reflecting on the significant quality of life benefits this transformative project has provided to the public.
At a cost of $834 million, the Northwest Corridor represents the largest single investment in Georgia’s transportation infrastructure. It is one of the most transformative projects in state history and the most innovative express lanes project in the country. Opened in September 2018, the express lanes extend along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties and include nearly 30 miles of tolled reversible express lanes. In just one year of operation, more than 7 million trips were registered, posting travel speeds 30 percent faster than the general-purpose lanes. As a result, rush hour has been reduced by over one hour in both morning and evening commutes, giving significant time back to commuters formerly spent in congestion. Commuters have actually taken to social media to give thanks to Georgia DOT and to praise the lanes.
Users of the general-purpose lanes adjacent to the express lanes have also benefitted. Prior to the opening of Northwest Corridor, the average speed on I-75 northbound between I-285 and I-575 at rush hour’s peak was 20 mph. After the opening, the average speed had doubled at 40 mph.
This project is one that makes up the Georgia Express Lanes network, which provides more reliable trip times and increases transit options that facilitate an easier commute for residents and supports the Atlanta region’s economic growth. Georgia DOT’s Major Mobility Investment Program includes four more express lanes projects that will build on the success of this corridor by offering more choices for motorists and contribute to the economic vitality of the region.