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Deal Doubtful About Removing Toll | News

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Deal Doubtful About Removing Toll
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ATLANTA --Moments after touring the Coca Cola bottling plant and receiving one of its commemorative inauguration bottles,  

Governor Elect Nathan Deal took the fizz out of some legislators' fight to bring down the toll on GA 400.

Deal campaigned on the issue promising to discontinue the toll plaza if elected.  Now he says the issue may be beyond his control.

"I am being told that the State Tollway and Road Authority has already started selling the bonds. As you know it is not an issue I supported, but apparently it has been finalized," Deal said. 

Last week, some heavy hitting legislators from North Fulton County sent a letter to the governor-elect and Georgia's Department of Transportation, which oversees SRTA, urging the state to stick to its original promise of pulling the toll plaza once the highway was finished.

Newly elected Representative Lynn Riley of Johns Creek was one of the lawmakers who signed the letter.

"We really serve at the will of our constituents and constituents are telling us loud and clear -- no more toll on Georgia 400. We promised the citizens that it would only be a certain period that we would charge that toll," Riley said.

In September, the State Tollway Authority voted to extend the GA 400 tollway until the year 2020.

In early December, it started issuing bonds based on future revenue to pay for some $50 million in construction improvements including a new interchange between I-85 and 400.

Now that Governor-elect Deal is hinting that the decision can't be reversed, some legislators say their next move may be to push for a new law to overrule DOT altogether.

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