To the editor:

Like many residents of Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, I use Ga. 400 several times a week. Thanks to Gov. Nathan Deal, this commute keeps improving.

Ga. 400 commuters now enjoy a cheaper trip. The toll plaza between the Lenox and Glenridge exits is gone.

In 2010, when he first ran for governor, Nathan Deal pledged to end the toll. Some observers dismissed this promise as unlikely to be fulfilled. After all, that same year the state of Georgia announced it would extend the collection of 50 cents per trip and renege on its original promise to end the toll when the original bonds to construct Ga. 400 were paid off.

One stated purpose for the 2010 toll extension was to add connections to the junction of I-85 and Ga. 400, enabling southbound Ga. 400 commuters to go north on I-85 and southbound I-85 commuters to head north on Ga. 400. That project was completed earlier this year.

Gov. Deal kept his promise to end the toll. To do so, his administration carefully managed resources to achieve a 2013 payoff of the 2010 bonds that funded the I-85/Ga. 400 interchange project, four years earlier than 2017 maturity date of these bonds.

This does not mean that projects to relieve congestion along the Ga. 400 corridor will come to a screeching halt. To the contrary, less than one month ago Gov. Deal announced that a major interchange revamp will occur at the junction of I-285 and Ga. 400. All funding for this project has been identified. It will become reality over the next few years.

The toll is gone. The interchange at I-85 and Ga. 400 has been upgraded. The interchange at I-285 and Ga. 400 is certain to be upgraded. Gov. Deal is working hard to make our commute on Ga. 400 faster, cheaper and better. His careful management of transportation priorities has made all the difference for our north metro communities.

Rep. Mike Jacobs

Georgia Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) represents District 80, which includes portions of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs.