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11/06/01 - HOV LINES ON 316

 Gwinnett Daily Post
DOT to discuss adding HOV lanes to 316

By Camie Young
Staff Writer

LAWRENCEVILLE - Just more than a week after the completion of the 24-mile stretch of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes along Interstate 85 in Gwinnett and less than a week after the grand opening, the Georgia Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting to discuss adding up to 262 additional miles of HOV lanes.
Recent talks indicate that Ga. Highway 316 could be among the list.

A Gwinnett meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.
“In the next five years, Georgia DOT is looking at an almost $ billion program to add 262 miles of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to the metro Atlanta system,” Commissioner Tom Coleman said in a press release earlier this year.
“As the governor stated, HOV lanes are critical to moving metro Atlanta’s transportation system to the next level,” Coleman said. “The study is an important first step which seeks to include the people who will be using those lanes in the decision-making process.”
The HOV lanes on Ga. 316 were listed in the governor’s Regional Transportation Plan. They will extend 30 lane miles from I-85 to Drowning Creek Road, nearly to the Gwinnett-Barrow border.
According to Marta Rosen, state transportation planning administrator, the HOV lanes may coincide with another project, currently being studied, to improve Ga. 316 and make it safer.
Begun in November of 2000, the federally funded study will end in December. Rosen said long-term solutions to the growth and safety issues along the Ga. 316 corridor in Gwinnett, Barrow and Oconee counties will be presented, including transforming more of the highway to a limited-access freeway.
Rosen said HOV lanes could be part of those recommendations, and the lanes may eventually be extended into Barrow and Oconee.