Tractor trailers and other commercial and heavy vehicles will have their own dedicated lanes along a portion of Interstate 75 between Macon (Bibb County) and Henry County by 2030 if a Georgia Department of Transportation proposal advances. The GDOT is planning to add the new lanes along a 40-mile stretch of I-75 beginning in 2025, with environmental studies taking place over the next few years, reports the Macon Telegraph.
The dedicated commercial lanes would be separated by a median and could reduce traffic on existing travel lanes by 40 percent, according to the GDOT. With an estimated cost of $2 billion, the plan, at least initially, would involve two northbound lanes, stretching from Macon to McDonough. Due to the deepening of the harbor in Savannah, state officials believe that trucking traffic will increase substantially (perhaps doubling or tripling) in coming years, particularly on I-16 and I-75, the route from Savannah to Atlanta that passes through Macon.
Interstate tractor trailer accidents kill and injury many Georgians each year. Because of their increased size and weight, tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles are generally not as maneuverable as passenger cars and trucks and can be harder to stop, particularly in inclement weather conditions. Establishing dedicated lanes for these vehicles, and prohibiting them from traveling on the lanes used by passenger vehicles, could significantly reduce the dangers posed by tractor trailers, along with reducing traffic congestion.