Fresh calls are being made for trucks to be separated from other vehicles in and around metro Atlanta.
Last Saturday, two people died in a fiery wreck on I-85 near the Gwinnett-DeKalb county border. The crash involved a tanker truck and two cars and led to a huge backup of traffic.
The wreck occurred about 8 a.m. at the Jimmy Carter Boulevard interchange. A Freightliner truck carrying a tanker trailer with 8,500 pounds of fuel ran into a Volkswagen Passat that had stopped following a separate accident.
The tanker spun across four lanes of traffic and flipped several times. The car came to rest next to the tanker and both vehicles burst into flames.
While there’s no immediate plan to change the flow of traffic, there is a long-term proposal.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to develop new truck-only lanes along Interstate 75 between McDonough and Macon. The initiative will be the first of its kind in the country.
The separated lanes, which will run for 40 miles, are expected to cost around $1.8 billion to construct. It is estimated that they will open in 2028.
Funding for the non-toll lanes was approved in 2015 by Georgia’s General Assembly. The lanes will run from the Interstate 475-75 split north of Macon to the McDonough Road exit.
GDOT said they chose this stretch because of the number of trucks entering Georgia to deliver products and the heavy traffic coming from the Port of Savannah. The amount of truck traffic along the I-75 is expected to double by 2040 especially since the Port will be expanded.
The plans for the truck lanes will not affect the exits and entrances for non-commercial traffic. However, the specific access points for the truck lanes have not yet been determined beyond the endpoints.
Construction on the lanes is expected to begin in 2024.
In the meantime, if you get involved in a truck accident, contact a Georgia truck accident lawyer.