Cobb voters approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in 2005 to fund important transportation and public safety projects. Since then, significant progress has been made in many areas, including transportation improvements and the new courthouse project.
Substantial progress continues on the new courthouse, which will combine all of the county’s court services on one campus and allow Juvenile Court to move to downtown Marietta. Concrete slabs have been poured for the first five floors of the building and construction was completed on the storm water detention vault. Underground sewer lines were also installed and Marietta Power established permanent power to the building. Metal stairways have been put in place and masonry wall construction began on holding cells. Metal stud construction of exterior walls also began in October. Turner Construction plans to install a connecting bridge in January and the courthouse should be open for business in spring 2011.
The $110 million expansion of the Cobb County Adult Detention Center is substantially complete and continues within budget. Construction of the visitor center, administrative building and housing tower is complete. With the opening of the visitor building earlier this year, video visitation and bonding functions were relocated to the new facility. Construction of the housing tower is finished and the Sheriff’s Office is installing equipment, testing security systems and preparing for occupancy during the first quarter of 2010. Renovation and expansion of the laundry and kitchen areas has been completed. Renovation of the booking area into mental health facilities will begin as soon as booking functions transition to the new tower. The jail expansion will add more than 320,000 square feet and 1,152 beds to the Detention Complex bringing its capacity to 3,077 inmates.
With the SPLOST program progressing ahead of the original schedule and on track for completion within eight years, improvements to Cobb County’s transportation system steadily move along. As of September, 251 of the 260 transportation projects were underway or completed. Of these projects, 178 have begun the right-of-way acquisition phase, 150 were completed and 192 have initiated construction, including the following:
* 21 school zone improvement projects valued at $5.4 million
* 34 bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects valued at $18.3 million
* 37 intersection safety and operational improvements valued at $20.3 million
* 30 thoroughfare and roadway safety improvement projects valued at $77.3 million
* 260 miles of road resurfacing valued at $30.2 million
Construction on the
Windy Hill Road/Macland Road
Year in Review
2009 proved to be a challenging year for the Cobb Department of Transportation due in part to the impact of the recession and flooding from unprecedented weather events. Despite these difficulties, DOT had many notable accomplishments for the year, including:
* More than 50 SPLOST projects let for construction, totaling nearly $60 million.
* All 10 summer closures were successfully opened to traffic prior to start of the new school year.
* As part of the Windy Hill Road/Macland Road Connector, the bridge at Callaway Road was completed prior to the opening of the North Georgia State Fair. This completed a key objective of phase I construction of the project.
* The drainage component of the SPLOST program funded more than 20 drainage repairs needed countywide as a result of the historic flooding in September. This provided the matching funds needed to receive federal and state emergency repair funding.
* All SR 176 (Lost Mountain Road/Mars Hill Road) intersection projects were let to construction. This included seven separate intersection projects from Corner Road to Mars Hill Church Road.
* Jamerson Road/Wigley Road safety and operational improvements will be let for construction this month, providing additional safety and congestion relief on this highly-traveled east/west corridor in northern Cobb.
Austell Road at East-West Connector Intersection Improvements
The project just started construction after a lengthy utility relocation process. This is a critical project in the program because in 2006 this intersection was identified as one of the most accident-prone intersections in the county. The project is anticipated for completion in the spring with construction costs of $1.2 million. Improvements at this intersection include:
* A six-lane divided roadway (three lanes in each direction) on the East-West-Connector from Lipson Drive through Hospital Drive South
* Dual left-turns from the East-West Connector eastbound to Austell Road northbound
* Dual left-turns from Austell Road southbound to the East-West Connector eastbound
Construction at North Church Lane
and Atlanta Road
North Church Lane over CSX Railroad (D1260)
This project will replace the bridge over the CSX Rail line. Improvements will include pavement widening and turn lanes on both sides of the Atlanta Road intersection as well as pedestrian improvements on North Church Lane and along Atlanta Road. The roadway will reopen at the time of the project’s completion which is scheduled for 2010.
Jiles Road, Phases I, II and II
This project is a jointly-funded project by Cobb County and the City of Kennesaw. Phase I adds a four-lane divided section between Baker Road and Cherokee Street. This phase has been under construction since March and is expected to be completed in May.
Phase II includes the construction of a bridge over CSX railroad, parallel with the existing bridge. This will extend the four-lane divided section over the railroad tracks. This project began construction in September and is expected to be completed in May.
Phase III of this project is currently being designed and will include additional lanes, turn lanes, geometric improvements and other enhancements from Cobb Parkway (US 41) to the bridge over CSX railroad. Right-of-way acquisition is expected to start on this project in early 2010 with construction to begin in November.
Completion of these three phases will greatly improve the safety and operations of this segment of roadway between Cobb Parkway (US 41) and Cherokee Street.
Planning Update: Kick-Off Community Meeting held for Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Project
arrowProject Fact Sheet
Cobb County, along with the City of Atlanta, recently hosted a kick-off community meeting focusing on the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Planning Project in the D.L. Hollowell Parkway/Veteran’s Memorial Highway corridor. The study area is approximately four miles from Hollowell Parkway at James Jackson Parkway to Veteran’s Memorial Highway at Buckner Road. Visit the project Web site dot.cobbcountyga.gov/active-studies.htm, contact the Cobb DOT Planning Division at 770-528-1629 or email at email@example.com.
SPLOST Oversight Committee
Throughout the 2005 SPLOST Program, there has been a great deal of work and effort behind the scenes by a group of citizen volunteers that make up the SPLOST Oversight Committee. This committee was formed by a resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners in October 2005, directly after the approval of the 2005 SPLOST by voters.
The SPLOST Oversight Committee is made up of 15 citizens appointed by each of the members of the Board of Commissioners (three for each commissioner and chairman). The committee has been meeting on a bi-monthly basis since 2005.
Primary roles of the committee for the Transportation Improvement Program portion of SPLOST include:
* Confirming the county remains accountable for expenditure of funds in the SPLOST program.
* Ensuring the county implements SPLOST projects in a timely manner.
Meeting agendas and minutes for the SPLOST Oversight Committee can be found at www.cobbcip.org/oversight_min.htm. We thank all members of this committee for their dedication and service to Cobb County.
SPLOST Oversight Committee members from left to right:
Alice Summerour, Bill Borden, David Hong, Lee Berg and Dr. Michael Rhett
The approved 2005 SPLOST Program was budgeted based on anticipated revenues (sales tax) throughout the life of the SPLOST. However, SPLOST revenue has averaged below projections for the past 21 months due to the economic recession. To stay fiscally-responsible, the budget was revised to account for these losses in funding. This required a number of projects within the SPLOST program to be deferred or delayed until funding can be restored. Meanwhile, the funded projects continue to move forward into construction as soon as possible. Click here to view deferred project schedules and status.
Projects on the Horizon
Jamerson Road/Wigley Road Safety and Operational Improvements
The Jamerson Road/Wigley Road project will make significant improvements to this east-west corridor in northern Cobb. This project should be bid for construction this month and begin construction in February. Project highlights include:
* Creating four-lanes in the existing roadway between Canton Highway and Lee Waters Road (at Kell High School)
* The addition of turn lanes and other roadway improvements between Lee Waters Road and Sandy Plains Road
* Improvement to sidestreets and turning lanes at approaches to intersections
* Addition of sidewalk on the entire south side of the project
* Modifications of signals throughout the project limits
This project will improve Canton Road between Hamby Drive/Rosedale Drive to just north of Blackwell Road/New Chastain Road. Improvements will include a raised concrete median from the beginning of the project to just north of Piedmont Road and from Worley Drive to the end of the project. Major intersection improvements will be completed at Piedmont Road and Blackwell/Road/New Chastain Road as well as improvements to roadwork aesthetics; a red brick patterned median will be added at locations between the raised medians. Several sidewalk gaps will also be filled within the project limits to promote pedestrian access and safety. This project is letting for construction this month and construction will be underway in early 2010.
This project will improve Childers Road from Shallowford Road to the Fulton County line. Improvements include the addition of sidewalk on the northwest side of the roadway and a short stretch on the southeast side from the shopping center to the first subdivision. The roadway will be widened as well as the hills and curves reduced to improve safety and visibility. A roadway closure will be required in the summer to make a hillcut near Ellenwood Park Drive. This project is letting for construction this month and construction will be underway in early 2010.
Information relating to SPLOST transportation projects is updated regularly at www.cobbcip.org. If you have questions or comments regarding transportation projects, please contact Cobb DOT at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-528-1621. The next SPLOST transportation e-newsletter scheduled for March.