State to receive grant to fix Atlanta traffic

ATLANTA --- Georgia will receive a $110 million federal grant to help ease Atlanta's notoriously snarled traffic, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced Tuesday.

The money will go toward converting existing high occupancy vehicle lanes into high occupancy toll lanes along part of Interstate 85, to buy more commuter buses and to build and expand park-and-ride facilities.

Officials hope that by pegging the toll price to congestion -- drivers will pay a higher fee when traffic is heaviest -- it will guarantee at least one free-flowing lane in Atlanta's traffic-choked interstate system.

The grant is part of a federal project that challenges cities to come up with solutions to ease traffic using new technology.

Under Georgia's proposal, federal money will be matched by state and local money over two years to develop the high occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes.