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Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs)

Georgia DOT strives to reduce highway congestion and Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs) are the key component of our incident management program.


Spencer Pass Memorial Bridge Named

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016 the I-85 Bridge over Cleveland Avenue was named the Spencer Pass Memorial Bridge. The bridge was named in honor of the respected and exemplary public servant HERO Spencer Pass, who died in 2011 while trying to help a stranded motorist. The dedication ceremony included the Pass family, and Pass’ second family, along with members of the HERO Unit.

Pass has been described by co-workers as a man who “never had anything bad to say about anyone.” The kind of employee you want serving the citizens of Georgia; a dedicated husband, loving father, and devoted son; a man of integrity, intelligence, and kindness; the type of man who always had a good day.


    HERO Unit Statistics


    HERO Positions
    Active HERO Positions


    HERO Centerline Miles of Coverage
    Centerline Miles of Coverage

    32 Minutes

    HERO Average Incident Clearance Time
    Average Incident Clearance Time




    Travelers Say Thank You to HEROs

      HEROs are dispatched to traffic-related incidents with the primary duty to clear roads so that normal traffic flow is restored. Secondarily, HEROs assist stranded motorists by:

      • Changing flat tires
      • Jump-starting batteries
      • Providing fuel or coolant
      • Pushing vehicles to the shoulder
      • Transporting motorists to safe areas away from traffic
      • Providing travel information
      • Offering use of a cell phone
      • Administering first aid
      • Performing minor mechanical repairs

      There is no charge for HERO service.

      • Relieve congestion and maintain consistent traffic flow at incident locations
      • Reduce response time to traffic-related incidents
      • Patrol 310 miles of metro Atlanta freeways on 31 routes every day during peak hours
      • Respond to incidents on metro Atlanta freeways 24/7
      • Provide support to law enforcement, first-response and other emergency agencies
      • Assist in clearing stalled vehicles from travel lanes
      • Help stranded motorists with minor mechanical problems

      HEROs currently patrol the following metro Atlanta freeways:

      • I-20 between Thornton Rd. (Exit 44) and SR20/SR138/Stockbridge Hwy. (Exit 82)
      • I-75 between SR 155 (Exit 216) and Emerson-Allatoona Rd. (Exit 283)
      • I-85 between SR 74/Senoia Rd. (Exit 61) and SR 20 (Exit 115)
      • I-285 between Washington Rd. (Exit 1) and Old National Hwy. (Exit 62)
      • I-575 between Barrett Pkwy. (Exit 1) and Townlake Pkwy. (Exit 8)
      • I-675 between I-75 and I-285
      • I-985 between I-85 and Spout Springs Rd./Flowery Branch Rd. (Exit 12)
      • SR 166/Langford Pkwy. between I-285 and I-75/85
      • US 78 between Valley Brook Rd./N. Druid Hills (Exit 1) and West Park Place Blvd. (Exit 9)
      • SR 400 between Sidney Marcus Blvd/Piedmont Rd. (Exit 1) and Windward Pkwy (Exit 11)

      HERO Routes

      Route Map

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      Funding for the HERO program has been provided by Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) Fund under the guidance of the Atlanta Regional Commission's (ARC) Incident Management Taskforce. The Taskforce members include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), GDOT, traffic reporters, emergency and first-response agencies and the private sector. State Farm is also providing sponsorship contributions to the HERO program.

      jQuery Responsive Tabs


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      If you have comments about the HERO Program, or if you've been helped by a HERO and would like to say thanks, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact Us.


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