GDOT looks to build "truck only" interstate

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Source: CBS 46

Thousands of trucks travel through metro Atlanta every day and they may soon have their own highway. It's still in the early stages but Georgia could make history by creating the nation's first "truck only interstate."

"Because we have the deepening of the Savannah Port, because the Panama Canal has been deepened we have more freight coming through Georgia. That's something we have to address we can't ignore it and we can't wait until 10 years down the road to address it."

The Georgia Department of Transportation is in the early stages of planning the project. The interstate will stretch from metro Atlanta 40 miles south to Macon

"So this would be separate two lanes that only commercial vehicles could you and that commercial vehicles would have to use."

GDOT says the interstate will see a 40 percent reduction in traffic delays in the corridor. 

In 2016, more than 4300 people died in crashes involving large trucks. The hope is that the project will reduce that number. 

"It's not only the amount of wrecks that you have it's the severity of the wrecks. When you're in a wreck with a commercial vehicle the severity of that wreck increases dramatically."

The plan however will cost tax payers. The total estimate is $1.8 billion with the federal government paying 80 percent and the state picking up the rest of the bill.

The project wont break ground until 2024 the earliest.

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