Talks continue on I-85 toll lanes

LAWRENCEVILLE - For the second time, officials are asking for opinions about a proposed conversion of high-occupancy vehicle lanes along Interstate 85 to toll lanes.

The project, which would still allow cars with three or more people inside to use the lane for free, is intended to give drivers an option to avoid congestion.

While toll prices have not been revealed, they would change based on the amount of traffic to try to create a free-flowing lane.

The 15-mile section from Chamblee-Tucker Road to Old Peachtree Road is expected to be the first converted to a high-occupancy toll lane, although officials have said they hope to implement the technology throughout the HOV lane network.

According to a spokeswoman for the State Road and Tollway Authority, 282 people attended the first round of public hearings on the project earlier this year. In all, 21 people said they supported the project, 135 opposed it, with 32 people uncommitted and 28 people expressing conditional support.

During this round of hearings, more information on the specifics of the project will be available, including a discussion of the high-occupancy toll lane operations, the location of the weaving sections and anticipated toll ranges.

The first meeting will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Ashiana's Banquet Hall in the Global Mall at 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Norcross.

Another session is planned from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Gwinnett Center at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, with the final meeting planned for 3 to 6 p.m. June 27 in front of the Belk store in the lower level of the Mall of Georgia, located at 3333 Buford Drive in Buford.