What would you do with $2 billion? A Georgia transportation plan will use that money to make travelling for big rig drivers a bit safer across state highways, according to The Telegraph.
The plan includes at least 38 miles of separate truck lanes. State officials estimate that this project will cost about $2.06 billion. Construction on the new lanes isn't slated to start anytime soon. Georgia Department of Transportation Planning Director Jay Roberts said work on the project could sometime within the next 10 years.
When the project is completed, truck drivers would have two lanes to themselves, separated by a barrier. The new lanes would begin at Interstate 475 and travel the inside median or Interstate 75. Initial projects have the lanes going to at the Ga. 155 though officials hope to expand the lanes up to the 675, The Telegraph reported.
Officials estimate that the new lanes could reduce traffic delays by as much as 40 percent. In addition, some officials believe that this will also provide safer driving conditions for both automobile drivers and big rig drivers.
"Unfortunately, we have a lot of car drivers who just don't know how to drive around trucks and so they'll get into truck blind spots. They'll cut in front of them," Darrin Roth of the American Trucking Association said, according to WABE.
Opponents of the plan, however, claim the expansion is misplaced and poorly studied. Neill Herring, an environmental lobbyist, said “It just doesn’t seem thought out at all. There’s definitely a need to increase capacity on that corridor, but the place they need to increase capacity is north of there, between McDonough and Atlanta.” Instead, he would rather see the funds go toward increasing passenger rail as a means of getting cars off the road, reports The Telegraph.
Logistics such as whether the lanes will be mandatory and where to place additional truck exits are still under consideration. Officials have assured drivers they are not considering adding tolls, a reason projects in other states haven't moved forward.
Funds from a state tax fuel increase will fund the project, according to WABE.
What do you think of the proposed plan? Do you think it will make driving safer for big rig drivers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.