By BEN SMITH
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/16/06
Ga. 316 commuters, get used to driving slower.
Starting Friday, the highway's 55 mph speed limit will be cut to 45 mph between Sugarloaf Parkway and I-85.
And it won't be raised again until December 2008.
The state Department of Transportation is cutting the speed limit as part of a $147-million, 32-month project to upgrade the I-85/Ga. 316 interchange.
Officials said the speed reduction is necessary to enable road crews to start the construction of 13 bridges and 31 lanes, including the first HOV lanes on Ga. 316.
They're also looking out for their workers.
"It is a safety decision," Georgia DOT District Engineer Russell McMurry said in a news release. "For the safety of people driving through the area and for our employees in the area, it is absolutely imperative that drivers slow down in this construction zone."
DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the state agency also is considering lowering the existing 65 mph limit on I-85 at the interchange, in part, to make it less hazardous for drivers merging from Ga. 316 west onto I-85 south. As the intersection is currently configured, slower drivers on Ga. 316 must merge into the fast lane of I-85 traffic.
DOT officials urged drivers to pay attention to speed reduction warnings posted on changeable message boards and newly flagged 45 mph speed limit signs. They also warned drivers that traffic fines in work zones are doubled to $2,000 for each offense.
It's already crazy slow. That's the kind of road where you'd EXPECT the speed limit to be 70, and the traffic moves at 80, so it's dangerous to go the speed limit. Then if you're driving around in a loud m3, the cops will always pull you out of the crowd to give a huge ticket to.