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Vote on Georgia 400 Tolls Coming Friday | News

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Vote on Georgia 400 Tolls Coming Friday

FULTON COUNTY, GA -- Georgia commuters say the state will be breaking a promise if the tolls on Georgia 400 don't end next year.

"We've had enough crooked politicians trying to steal our money," said driver Dan Selton as he prepared to pay his 50 cents.

Selton and others remember the vow when the toll plaza on Georgia 400 appeared, how the state signed an agreement that the tolls would end when the bonds to finance the road were paid off in the year 2011.

As that date approaches, the Georgia State Tollway Authority will vote Friday on whether or not to keep the coins coming. If the tolls remain, the additional revenue would be used to make improvements at places like the often congested interchange of Georgia 400 and I-85.

To former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, it's plenty of reason to keep the tolls intact.

"They take the toll down, we won't get these improvements," Massell said. "I'm looking at the people who drive these streets that are congested now."

"That promise must be kept," said Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts.

Pitts agrees improvements are needed on 400, but he argues that the state has money in reserve to pay for them. He would like to see the tolls come down for good, but says at the very least they should be suspended for at least six months or a year to allow public comment on the matter.

"A toll free Georgia 400 for six months, I could be happy with that," Pitts said. "If the public comment is on the side of let's continue with the improvements, so be it.

If the Tollway Authority votes to continue the tolls, the public would be allowed to comment on the projects the additional revenue would fund.

The Tollway Authority conducted a study that claims if the tolls vanished, traffic on Georgia 400 would increase 18-percent, adding nine extra minutes to the commute there.

The vote will take place at 10 a.m. Friday.


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