State transportation officials are planning a series of public meetings as they prepare for new toll lanes on the perimeter that encircles Atlanta.

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans seven public meetings to provide information on the proposed lanes on the “top end” of Interstate 285. They’re planned from the stretch from Paces Ferry Road in Cobb County to Henderson Road in DeKalb County.

The plan would add two toll lanes in each direction on that stretch of I-285, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The lanes on I-285 are part of a larger plan that involves a 120-mile network of metro Atlanta “express lanes.”

The hearings are scheduled as the state’s plans have prompted concerns from some residents. They worry that their neighborhoods and property values could be affected by the new lanes, the newspaper reported. Government officials expect to acquire or obtain easements for land in metro Atlanta in connection with the project.

Noise is among the concerns.

“The overarching concern is quality of life,” Brookhaven City Councilwoman Linley Jones told the Journal-Constitution. “It’s not just the taking of property, but intrusion into their peaceful enjoyment of their homes.”

Samantha Nowak of Dunwoody, who lives just north of I-285, said she feels like “it’s a governmental process that nobody has any control over.”

The upcoming forums will give the public a chance to learn about the project, said Tim Matthews of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“We are here to listen and address any questions you have,” Matthews said in a news release announcing the forums.

Toll lanes are also planned on Georgia 400, from the Perimeter to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s North Springs station. The toll lanes would stretch from I-285 to the North Springs MARTA station — the northernmost rail station on the MARTA’s red line.

Other plans involve Interstate 20.

Public meetings are planned from May 14-23 in several communities, including Doraville, Chamblee, Smyrna, Sandy Springs; Dunwoody; and Brookhaven.

(Photo: Mike Stewart/Associated Press)

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