The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project remains the largest transportation project implemented in Georgia and one of the nation's most innovative express lanes systems. It also serves as a testament to the state's unwavering commitment to revolutionizing its infrastructure. As of September 2023, this project has been operational for five years; and continues to consistently demonstrate an improvement in the level of service and quality of life for commuters along the corridor. The project has exceeded all indicators of success and has become a cornerstone of the strategic transportation plan designed to accommodate 450,000 vehicles daily along this corridor.

The express lanes span approximately 30 miles along the Interstate, stretching from Akers Mill Road to Hickory Grove Road on I-75 and from I-75 to Sixes Road on I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties. This predominantly elevated, barrier-separated system efficiently increased capacity, catering to travelers moving toward the highest demand. It achieved this using advanced technologies such as reversible managed lanes to manage traffic flow.

HNTB worked closely with the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT), providing project management, procurement support, environmental oversight, community engagement, and post-let management services. The innovative model utilized for this project was a first in the state, demonstrating its novelty in the industry. As Program Management Consultants (PMC) for the Georgia DOT’s P3 Division and Office of Alternative Delivery, our commitment was to ensure Georgia DOT’s excellence in execution.

A robust education and outreach program was implemented prior to tolling commencement to facilitate a smooth transition for the state’s drivers to this new concept. This effort was critical in reducing congestion in general-purpose lanes, which ultimately saved commuters approximately 20 minutes during the morning and afternoon peak travel periods along the corridor. Additionally, the new configuration has benefited over 1.32 million riders of public buses who now have access to these lanes.

With its successful completion and full operation, this project sets a benchmark for innovation in transportation infrastructure. It continues to bolster the region's economic development, mobility, and overall quality of life. The success of this project set the stage for implementation of new planned Express Lanes to be implemented by GDOT’s Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP).

Location: Georgia

Client: Georgia Department of Transportation

Awards: National Award of Merit (Transportation), Design-Build Institute of America; State award: “Large Project-Overall” category, American Society of Civil Engineers; No. 1 project, 2018 Roads & Bridges Top 10 Roads list

Services: Project Management