Cobb County SPLOST Project Updates

Cobb County GovernmentSPLOST Update for May 2009

Cobb County, Georgia voters approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to fund important transportation and public safety projects in 2005. Since then, significant progress has been made in many areas, including the jail expansion, new courthouse project and transportation improvements.

With the Cobb Department of Transportation SPLOST program progressing ahead of the original schedule and on track for completion within eight years, Cobb County’s transportation system continues to improve. As of April, 246 of the 256 transportation projects were underway or completed. Of these projects, 162 have begun the right-of-way acquisition phase, 111 were completed and 164 have initiated construction — including the following:

21 school zone improvement projects valued at $5.4 million
31 bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects valued at $15.2 million
32 intersection safety and operational improvements valued at $19.9 million
22 thoroughfare and roadway safety improvement projects valued at $68.4 million
230 miles of road resurfacing valued at $40 million

Click here to view a Cobb County map detailing current construction locations throughout the county.

PROJECT FOCUS: SUMMER CLOSURES

Road closures are often a necessary part of a successful roadway program. Closures are required to make significant changes to the existing roadway grades, replace bridges or make roadway realignments. Cobb DOT has worked hard throughout the SPLOST program to minimize the impact of road closures by scheduling most closures during the summer school break when traffic is significantly lighter. Other efforts minimize construction time and coordinate roadway closures and detours occurring in the same areas of the county.

Click here to view a list of roadway projects that will require closure during the upcoming 2009 summer school break. As the closure nears, a specific detour map and time period will be made available at the DOT Web site under Road Reports. If you have any questions or concerns about these closures, please call DOT construction at 770-528-1653.

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT CENTER

The design is complete for the Cobb County Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Marietta. The 24,000-square-foot facility will house the operations responsible for managing the county’s Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).

The TMC features an Operations Room where images from 70 closed-circuit television cameras will be monitored for traffic surveillance on an 8 foot by 16 foot video wall. The functions of more than 500 traffic signals in the county’s ATMS will be controlled from the TMC. In addition, four arterial dynamic message signs, displaying important information for motorists, will be controlled from this location as well as other dispatching services for roadway and traffic signal maintenance.

The TMC is designed according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards with Silver-Certification as a project goal and is funded by a federal grant and SPLOST funds. The project is registered with the United States Green Building Council. Construction is expected to start in May and be completed in spring 2010.

WINDY HILL ROAD/MACLAND ROAD CONNECTOR

The Windy Hill Road/Macland Road Connector is currently under construction and will provide a new four-lane roadway from the intersection of Macland Road and Powder Springs Road to the existing intersection at WindyHill Road and Austell Road. This roadway will significantly reduce travel times as well as congestion on Powder Springs Road and neighboring Callaway Road, Austell Road and Milford Church Road.

Phase I of this project includes the construction of a bridge where the new connector will pass under the existing Callaway Road near Jim Miller Park and construction of a new bridge and future roadway over Olley Creek. To build the Callaway bridge without closing Callaway Road, it was necessary to relocate the existing roadway in front of the park. Phase I construction, impacting the park and Callaway bridge, will be completed near the end of the summer, just before the next North Georgia State Fair. Phase II construction will begin this summer. Although work will continue on the Austell Road end of the project, new work will start between Powder Springs Road and Callaway Road.

CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION

DOT has approximately 30 major projects in design and 60 projects planned to bid during 2009. Four projects under construction are highlighted below:

Stilesboro Road

Construction has been completed on Phase I of the project between the bridge over Allatoona Creek and Mars Hill Road/SR 176. This project added a five-lane section (two lanes in each direction with a continuous center turn-lane) to the existing three-lane Stilesboro Road.

Work is continuing on Phase II of the Stilesboro project. This phase is improving four consecutive intersections on Stilesboro Road at Old Stilesboro Road/Edgeboro Drive, Paul Samuel Road, Mack Dobbs Road/Tisbury Drive and Pine Mountain Road. The project will add left and right turn lanes and include the signalization of the Paul Samuel intersection. This should significantly reduce delays in this area during peak travel periods of the day. This segment of Stilesboro Road is anticipated to be completed in June.

Work is continuing on Phase III of the Stilesboro Road project. This phase will improve the existing two-lane Stilesboro Road to a four-lane section with a raised median (two lanes in each direction) from Kennesaw Due West Road to Barrett Parkway. This project is scheduled for completion in November.

Maxham Road

This project consists of widening Maxham Road from Old Alabama Road to Veterans Memorial Highway to include a raised median, widening the existing bridge over Buttermilk Creek and adding sidewalk along the west side of the roadway. This project, scheduled for completion in September, will significantly improve the safety and congestion issues experienced in this stretch of roadway.

Post Oak Tritt Road

This project consists of improvements to the horizontal and vertical alignments between Murdock Road and the Fulton County line. Curb/gutter and sidewalk will be added on the north side and the existing two bridges will be replaced. Last summer, the roadway was closed when the bridge near McPherson Road was replaced with a culvert. This summer, the roadway will be closed at the bridge west of Johnson Ferry Road as the bridge is replaced and the vertical grade is improved. This project is scheduled for completion in October.

Planning Updates

Bike Ped Plan Pushes towards Next Round of Public Meetings
Cobb DOT and its consultants are conducting ongoing data analysis for the Cobb Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Plan. Public feedback from the winter workshops and online survey is being developed into a set of preliminary recommendations. The next round of public meetings is scheduled for later this summer.

Austell Road Access Management Study

The Austell Road Access Management Study is underway and is progressing on schedule. Cobb DOT and its consultants are developing preliminary study recommendations based on field observations, data collection and public feedback. Public meetings held on Feb. 17 and April 16 gave area residents and business owners an opportunity to learn about the study and offer feedback.

Access Management methods are designed to improve the operational efficiency of roadways without adding lane capacity. This study distinguish between different levels of access control on the arterial network, while at the same time maintaining the predominant role of Austell Road to move traffic safely and efficiently through the corridor. The study also has potential benefits for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. Consideration of alternative travel modes and integration of solutions to address their needs are vital to the success of the Austell Road Access Management Study. The next public meeting will be held on June 30.

> http://dot.cobbcountyga.gov/AustellRoadLCI/index.htm

For more information about these planning studies, call Cobb DOT Planning Division at 770-528-1629 or email at planning@cobbcounty.org.

Projects on the Horizon

Austell Road Sidewalks

The Austell Road sidewalk project will start construction in May. This project will add five foot sidewalks to Austell Road on the east side of the roadway between Seayes Road and Anderson Mill Road. This project will be completed in late 2009 or early 2010. This addition will result in continuous sidewalk on the east side of Austell Road between Veterans Memorial Highway and the East-West Connector.

Hermi’s Bridge

Hermi’s Bridge is a one-of-a-kind steel truss bridge built in 1903. Due to its age and current condition, the bridge needs a major restoration to prolong its life.

Hermi’s bridge was the original bridge on Paces Ferry Road over the Chattahoochee River until the new one was constructed in early 1972. Mrs. Hermione Alexander championed the effort to keep this bridge from being torn down and instead convert to its current use as a pedestrian bridge, parallel to the new bridge. When Alexander was killed by a drunk driver in 1984, the bridge was named for her at her husband Cecil Alexander’s request. Today Cecil Alexander is championing the effort to rehabilitate this historic bridge.

This major renovation is being funded by a federal grant and SPLOST funds with assistance from the City of Atlanta and the PATH Foundation. Additional private donations have helped fund this project, including a donation from the Lovett School. Through this partnership, construction will include stripping the bridge of its current lead-based paint and repainting, replacing sections of worn out decking and railings as well as fortification of the existing piers.

Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in late May or early June and last approximately six months.

SR 176 (Lost Mountain Road/Mars Hill Road) Intersection Projects

The SPLOST program has funded a number of intersection improvement projects along SR 176. These projects include additional left and right turn lanes, improvement of sight distance at intersections and addition of center turn lanes where necessary. A portion of these projects include federal funding as well as SPLOST. These projects are anticipated to begin construction in late summer with expected completion within a year and include: SR 176/Lost Mountain Road at Corner Road, SR 176/Mars Hill Road at Hadaway Road and SR 176/Mars Hill Road at Mars Hill Church Road.

Hiram Lithia Springs Safety and Operational Improvements

Hiram-Lithia Springs is in need of significant safety and operational improvements throughout the length of the corridor (defined as Powder Springs-Dallas Road to Humphries Hill Road). A number of intersections were selected for improvement as part of the project after careful evaluation of the crash data found on this segment of roadway. Proposed intersection improvements at Sullivan Road, Garrett Springs Drive, Sweetsprings Drive, Lewis Road and other nearby intersections are anticipated to begin construction this fall with expected completion within a year.

Information relating to SPLOST transportation projects is updated regularly at cobbcip.org. If you have questions or comments regarding transportation projects, please contact Cobb DOT at cobbdot@cobbcounty.org or 770-528-1621. The next SPLOST transportation e-newsletter will be available in August with a look ahead to fall projects.

Cobb County Department of Transportation – Summer 2009 Road Closures

When the road closure is slated to occur, a specific detour map and time period will be made available at the Cobb DOT Web site cobbdot.org under Road Reports. If you have any questions or concerns about these closures, please call DOT construction at 770-528-1653.

Acworth Due West Road at McClure Road (just south of Cobb Parkway)
Constructing a hillcut on Acworth Due West Road will require closure of McClure Road, for approximately two months. This closure will occur during this summer.

Midway Road Bridge over Allatoona Creek (north of Dallas Highway)

While replacing the existing bridge, this roadway will be closed for the entire summer.

Cheatham Hill Road Bridge (between John Ward Road and Powder Springs Road)

The roadway at the bridge will be closed for the entire summer during bridge widening and rehabilitation.

Old 41 Bridge over CSX Railroad (between Stilesboro Road and Greers Chapel Road)
This roadway closure within Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park will begin mid-July and continue for approximately four months.

Holland Road (just north of Dallas Highway)
Hill cut will require two to three month closure this summer. This closure will occur just north of the intersection of Old Dallas Road.

North Church Lane over CSX Railroad (just south of Atlanta Road)
Bridge replacement will require closure for approximately five months starting on May 25 through the summer.

Hamby Road Bridge
The existing bridge will be replaced with a culvert and require closure for the entire summer.

Holly Springs Road at Sewell Mill Creek
Closure began in the spring and will extend through the summer. It will be coordinated with the road closure required by replacement of the nearby Sewell Mill Road over Sewell Mill Creek bridge.

Sewell Mill Road at Sewell Mill Creek
Closure of Sewell Mill Road at the bridge is anticipated after school starts back in the fall. Coordination will be required because of the closure of Holly Springs Road at the bridge over Sewell Creek.

Smyrna-Powder Springs Road/Benson Poole Road
Smyrna-Powder Springs Road will be closed during the entire summer while replacing the bridge over Favor Creek. In addition, the intersection re-alignment of Smyrna-Powder Springs Road at Benson Poole Road will require closure for several weeks this summer.

Floyd Rd at Clay Rd Project
Maran Lane closed for realignment at Clay Road this spring and summer (for approximately four months)

Flint Hill Road at Perkerson Mill Road
Project will be closed late spring and early summer to replace a culvert and raise the grade of the existing roadway over the culvert.

Smyrna Powder Springs Road (two closures)
The Favor Creek Bridge will be replaced with a culvert requiring a roadway closure at the bridge throughout the summer. Benson Poole Road will be closed just north of Smyrna Powder Springs Road for realignment with Smyrna Powder Springs Road. This closure will also be in effect for the entire summer.

Allgood Road
Allgood Road will be closed just east of Rockcrest Drive for the entire summer for major roadway improvements.

Post Oak Tritt Road
The Post Oak Tritt Road bridge over Piney Grove Creek (between Hembree Road and Johnson Ferry Road) will be closed for the entire summer to replace the existing bridge.

Jail Expansion

In the summer of 2007, county officials broke ground for the $110 million expansion of the Cobb County Adult Detention Center. The project continues on time and within budget. The new Visitor’s Center opened to the public March 16 and has been well received. Work on the Administration Building has been completed and it will be occupied by the end of May. The Housing Tower is scheduled for completion in November. Renovation and expansion of the laundry area has been completed and renovation and expansion of the kitchen is underway. Final renovations are scheduled to be completed by December. When finished, the jail expansion will add more than 320,000 square feet and 1,152 beds to the facility, bringing its capacity to 3,077 prisoners.

New Courthouse

On May 14, Cobb dignitaries gathered to break ground for the new courthouse. SPLOST funds of $63 million will finance the project. In April, the Cobb Board of Commissioners approved adding approximately $8 million to the original $55 million budget to cover costs of an additional floor for future growth. This building will combine all of the county’s court services on one campus and allow Juvenile Court to move to downtown Marietta. The new building will also provide state-of-the-art security and a larger jury assembly room. Turner Construction has begun work on the project and the courthouse should be open for business in spring 2011.