The new six-lane bridge will replace the current span between Cobb and Fulton counties, which was built in 1935. GDOT expects the new bridge to be complete by December 2014.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of traffic that goes that way to Atlanta,” said Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents Cobb’s part of the bridge. “It’s definitely going to be beneficial to the residents of Cobb.”
The current four-lane bridge has only a double yellow line separating northbound and southbound traffic. GDOT officials said the new bridge will be divided and have sidewalks and spacious shoulders.
Mike Cates, preconstruction engineer with the Cobb Department of Transportation, said Cobb Parkway is also being expanded to six lanes from the bridge northward to Akers Mill Road, just south of Cumberland Mall.
“They’ll wait until after the bridge is complete to start that,” he said.
The bridge construction project, which will span just over half a mile, has been bid to E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. of Snellville.
Since the bridge goes through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, it had to get approval from both the National Park Service and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Cates said. The bridge will also be part of a multi-purpose trail, which will connect to a system that will eventually link into the Silver Comet Trail.
Cates said GDOT will work on the bridge in segments, with four lanes always remaining open.
“They’ll build it in pieces,” he said.
The Cumberland Community Improvement District paid $870,000 toward the design of the project, Cates said. Cobb County’s only budgeted contribution is $1,400 for internal project management and review.
Although the bridge will be owned by Fulton County, Ott said Cobb residents stand to benefit most from the project.
“It will be a little bit of inconvenience while they build the bridge, but once it’s all done, it will greatly improve the traffic flow,” he said.