If all goes as planned, the bridge will open in spring 2015, said Faye DiMassimo, the county’s transportation director.
The bridge will have two westbound lanes and two eastbound lanes. In addition, on the west end at KSU, it will have a left-turn lane from the bridge westbound to Frey Road and southbound toward Chastain Road with two lanes going into KSU.
The bridge will also have walking and biking lanes.
KSU President Dan Papp hailed the project in his state of the university address Thursday, saying it would have an immense impact on the university.
“Named after the late KSU fundraiser and Town Center Area Community Improvement District board member Skip Spann, the ($17.3 million) project will create another entrance to and exit from campus by building an overpass over I-75,” Papp said.
In connection with the Big Shanty Connector, which opened last year, Papp said the new connector will greatly reduce traffic tie-ups on Chastain Road.
“It will help the university, of course, but it will significantly improve the intersection there at Chastain because it diverts the university traffic for the most part,” said county Chairman Tim Lee. “And it also helps the east-west connectivity between the university and the Town Center business community.”
The university is not limited to students, Lee said.
“They also have a lot of programs and visitors that stay at the hotels on the other side and eat at the restaurants and attend the evening programs and all that. All that stuff that happens up there as a result of the university, it will obviously help them a lot, but it’s also going to help those intersections there right at Chastain and 75 leading into the university and people getting across without having to go through there,” Lee said.
The county had already secured $7.1 million of the $17.3 million cost, with $5 million in county SPLOST dollars, $1.4 million from the Town Center CID and $700,000 from KSU. DiMassimo said the county was recently told that it was eligible for the remaining $10.2 million in federal funds provided it takes a few more necessary steps, such as holding a public meeting on the topic Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente at 750 Town Park in Kennesaw.
The project had a $1.4 million design cost roughly split between Croy Engineering and ARCADIS, DiMassimo said.