11 Alive reports that Georgia is planning to be the first state in the nation to have truck-only interstate lanes.
In the wake of a deadly crash that killed two people and backed up traffic on Interstate 85 for hours on Saturday, there have been renewed calls to begin separating large truck traffic from regular traffic in metro Atlanta.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning unique truck-only lanes along Interstate 75 between McDonough and Macon. If constructed, these lanes will be the first truck-only lanes in the nation. According to the GDOT, construction will begin on the truck lanes in 2024.
The portion of Interstate 75 between McDonough and Macon was chosen due to the increased number of trucks that drive this route as they come in from the port of Savannah.
The lanes will have no tolls, but there will be fewer entrance and exit points for the truck only lanes.
The cost of the 40-mile-long, barrier separating the lanes will be about $1.8 billion by the time the lanes are scheduled to open in 2028. Funding for the lanes was secured back in 2015.
The term “large truck” typically refers to trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. This can include semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers. Because these vehicles are heavy even before they are weighed down with cargo, accidents with large trucks tend to result in serious injuries and fatalities. According to statistics, deaths from truck accidents in Georgia decreased between 2006 and 2010. However, the number remained relatively steady in the years between 2012 to 2016. Additionally, large truck accidents make up a small portion of overall accidents but account for one of every six traffic fatalities.
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