The new I-85 Express Lanes are in the testing phase of converting to toll lanes, but the good news is you don’t have to pay – yet.
The Georgia Department of Transportation issued a release Friday advising that although the testing is now ongoing, no tolls are currently being charged.
According to the release, motorists could see the word “Test A” or “Test B or simply a combination of letters, symbols and/or numbers throughout the testing period. Simulated toll rates will be displayed on the green and white toll signs intermittently during late night hours (12 a.m. – 5 p.m.) However, authorities reiterate, it is merely testing for the moment and no tolls will be charged.
According to the release, as weather permits, the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) will continue to test the tolling technology on the I-85 Express Lanes nightly until testing is completed. The Express Lanes are not officially open at this time.
During the testing period, motorists will see changeable message signs displaying the following message:
NO TOLL CHARGED
Georgia DOT officials said motorists should continue to follow the current HOV2+ rules until the Express Lanes officially open. In the meantime, continue to check the Peach Pass (Uwww.PeachPass.comU) and SRTA (HUwww.georgiatolls.comUH) web sites for I-85 Express Lanes construction and testing advisories.
Officials said there are no lane closures planned on the I-85 Express Lane project in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties for the upcoming week.
When the new HOT lanes do open, single- and double-occupant commuter vehicles may gain access to the lane if they pay a variable toll based on current traffic conditions.
All vehicles entering the lane must use a Peach Pass even if the trip does not require a toll. Registration for a Peach Pass is now open at www.peachpass.com or by calling 1-855-PCH-PASS (724-7277). There are some important things to know if you plan on traveling in the HOT lanes once the toll is activated so now is a good time to visit the site and get acquainted with the rules before the system is fully activated.