ATLANTA -- The $4.5 million dollar cost to rid Georgia 400 of its tolls will include money for demolition, inspections, and cameras so metro Atlanta can watch the project online.
Some Georgia 400 travelers are surprised at the cost.
- "Pay it Forward" Tolls reinstated
- Will traffic get worse when the tolls come down?
- GA 400 tolls to stop in time for Thanksgiving
- MARTA planning big expansion along the GA 400 corridor
"I'm shocked," said Louise Gee. "Why does it cost that much to tear something down?"
"Ridiculous," said Elle Helmy. "Highway robbery."
Dismantling the toll plaza can't be done with a wrecking ball, according to Bert Brantley, Deputy Executive Director of the State Road and Tollway Authority. Part of the reason is that the tollway authority is trying to preserve electronics that can be used again.
"The readers that are up that that read your Peach Pass are the same readers we use on I-85," said Brantley "So, we can keep those."
Here is the breakdown of the costs to end the tolls according to the SRTA:
Pre-Construction: $467,387. This will include the project design, which involves all the engineering work. It will also pay for public meetings and outreach to discuss details of the project.
Construction Contract: $3,509,348. This includes the dismantling of the toll booths, shifting traffic so that work can take place while travel continues on Georgia 400, and the filling in of stairwells that lead to an underground tunnel. It will also pay to reduce the Georgia 400 toll area from 11 lanes in both directions down to three lanes both north and south.
Inspections and Changes: $393,493. Most of this will pay for oversight of project and inspections.
Canopy for State Patrol: $75,000. The plan is to turn the office building beside the toll plaza over to the State Patrol. A canopy is needed to protect the patrol cars that would be parked there.
Visual Monitoring: $12,794. This would pay for cameras to record the project. Viewers would be able to watch online, and a time lapse would be created once the toll plaza is gone.
Brantley says it's an historic project that deserves to be preserved.
"We felt it was important to document it, to give people the ability to watch as it happens," said Brantley.
The toll will end in November. The demolition of the toll plaza will begin after the winter holidays.
The tollway authority will hold informational meetings to discuss the project at the following times and locations:
Tues., Sept. 24, 2013 Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
11605 Haynes Bridge Road, Ste. 100
Alpharetta, GA 30009 4:00-7:00 PM
Thurs., Oct. 3, 2013 Central Park Recreation Center
2300 Keith Bridge Road, Cumming 30040 5:00-8:00 PM
Thurs., Oct. 17, 2013 Piney Grove Middle School
8135 Majors Road, Cumming, GA 30041 4:00-7:00 PM
Thurs., Oct. 24, 2013 Crowne Plaza Ravinia
4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta GA 30346