According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the current set of bonds that the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) authorized for the additional 10 years of funding can be paid off as early as December 1, 2013, without incurring a penalty.
Please note, however, that the SRTA board must officially approve this matter… and I strongly encourage them to do so!!!
As for the timing of this announcement, it should be noted that on July 31st, Georgians will go to the polls to vote on the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST).
In recent months, the T-SPLOST has met opposition from groups ranging from local “Tea Parties” to local NAACP chapters, groups that do not usually see eye-to-eye on most issues. In the case of the T-SPLOST, there is skepticism that the tax revenue generated by this extra penny will not be spent wisely on either roads or transit.
Even politicians of the same party are split on the issue. For example, Governor Deal and State Senator Chip Rogers, both Republicans, disagree with each other. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and State Senator Vincent Fort , both Democrats, disagree with each other as well. Deal and Reed are “pro-T-SPLOST”, while Rogers and Fort are “anti-T-SPLOST”.
Since Governor Deal and Mayor Reed support T-SPLOST, it could be said that the GA 400 toll announcement’s motive was to convince voters that the State of Georgia will indeed keep promises, and they are promising that a “yes” vote on T-SPLOST will deliver results to Georgians.
Regardless of the motive, I will be very happy to see the GA 400 tolls go away. After all, the GA 400 extension from I-285 to I-85 was not meant to be a toll road in perpetuity.
Thank you, Governor Deal, for making that announcement, and kudos to Dr. Gena Evans for finally listening to the people. I’m not sure if T-SPLOST will pass, but the end of GA 400’s toll is at least a step in the right direction and I’m looking forward to driving a totally untolled GA 400 in the future!
One more thing… the GRG Facebook page is close to 150 “likes”, and I thank all my fellow Facebookers for doing so. Please encourage all your Facebook friends to “like” us as well and thanks in advance for your efforts.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and please visit often.