As SRTA’s general engineering consultant, Atkins has supported its operations staff with deployment of the I-85 Express Lanes project—conversion of a 15-mile stretch of interstate in the metro-Atlanta region from high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. Atkins has been instrumental in developing and coordinating the occupancy enforcement procedures and the toll operations center standard operating procedures.
The I-85 Express Lanes are open to use by registered single- and double-occupant vehicles for a fee; use by transit, carpools, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicles is free. Based on the number of vehicles using the express lanes, tolls will vary to keep the lanes free flowing, even during peak travel times. Tolls are displayed at each express lane entry point on changeable message signs, allowing drivers to decide whether using the express lanes makes sense for them at any given time.
A combination of tolling system enforcement and DPS visual enforcement ensures that only registered vehicles with the correct number of occupants use the express lanes and that those vehicles enter and exit the express lanes in the proper weave areas.