New toll lanes planned near Sandy Springs

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (CBS46) -- Gail Flamini is glad to know Sandy Springs City Council is trying to offer up solutions to what the GA 400 toll lanes will do to her area.

“They are talking about taking out some of our homes in our neighborhood,” Flamini said about the GA 400 Express Lanes project.

Gail Flamini

Saving some homes and possibly tax payer dollars is why Sandy Springs City council members approved and sent a letter to Georgia Department of Transportation with some suggests to the construction.

The initial express lane plans call for a new Pitts Road Bridge to be built just south of the existing bridge, keeping the old one open until it's time to demolish it. Sandy Springs has another idea.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul

“We suggested they just close Pitts road for about the six month duration needed to construct the bridge and that would save four houses,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said. “Four houses that doesn’t sound like a lot but I tell you it means a lot to those four people.”

It could possibly save an estimated $30 million on the cost of the project as well. 

“If it’s just going to close it off for six months and it’s going to save that much money I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

Sandy Springs is also proposing GDOT consider bringing the express lanes from the outer edge to the center portion of 400 and running it under Northridge bridge instead of over it. It would save their beautification in the area and address possible safety concerns with nearby schools.

Mayor Paul is hoping GDOT will consider the suggestions.

“Often times the same group of engineers can look at the same set of facts and draw widely varying conclusions,” Paul said. “But we are hoping that GDOT sees it our way.”

A GDOT spokesperson said they are in the environmental stages and all public input, be it from citizens or city leaders, is an important part of that. They'll look closely at that feedback.

Related stories:

Residents sign petition to stop proposed toll lanes

Residents concerned about proposed elevated toll lanes

New toll lanes may impact homeowners along I-285

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