Anyway, the DOT has this underground toll road on their public-private partnership list. My reaction when I first heard about the idea way-back-when was unsurprising - I hated it. I am going to try and enunciate exactly why this strikes me as a very bad idea:
- Cost - surely building tunnels for highways is a very expensive enterprise. Regardless of whether the state itself pays for the construction (such as with a public-private partnership), when it comes to a comparison for value, this can't be very high. Those same dollars could be spent on things like the BeltLine or MARTA expansion or commuter rail and provide much more value if you include any measure other than "move more cars from Roswell to Hartsfield faster".
- Impact on neighborhoods - I find it very difficult to believe that this highway wouldn't be destructive for local neighborhoods. Where will you vent all that exhaust? What about during construction? How are the interchanges for access to Downtown going to impact existing street grids? Surely there will have to be emergency access points that will necessitate surface street interruption. This doesn't even take into account the affect of areas south of I-20 where the road may become a surface street. Cuz, y'know, screw East Atlanta and stuff.
The silver lining? This is far from over:
It's far from a done deal. The chief of transportation planning at the Atlanta Regional Commission, Jane Hayse, said the project had not yet been approved by the ARC board, and it would have to be in order to proceed. Removal from the ARC project list can be the technical act that knocks out a project , as with the Northern Arc. In addition, a federally mandated study of the project's impacts will investigate its likely effect on the environment and social justice, and can lead to changes in the project or even a recommendation not to build it.h/t: Rusty Tanton