Cobb Parkway widening to be finished in ’16
by Nikki Wiley
August 07, 2013 11:28 PM | 3524 views | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CUMBERLAND — Cobb motorists making their way into downtown Atlanta could get some relief from congestion along Cobb Parkway, but they’ll have to wait three years for it.

Georgia Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday they plan to spend $12.4 million in federal and state money to widen a 1-mile stretch between Paces Mill and Akers Mill roads. The project will be at no expense to Cobb County and will transform the five-lane road with two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane into a six-lane road with three lanes in each direction.

It’s expected to be completed in June 2016.

Mark McKinnon, GDOT spokesman, says that’s a normal timeline for a project of this size and the department will do what it can to minimize lane closures during weekdays with some work being completed on weekends and at night.

The bulk of the project won’t actually be widening the road but moving utilities buried under the street.

“It takes quite a while to do utility relocation. People don’t think about it but under the road way there are utilities there that have to be moved,” McKinnon said. He said it can take a year just to move the utilities.

When the project is done, drivers will notice a significant difference in traffic, McKinnon said.

The section of Cobb Parkway targeted in the project not only sees traffic from commuters heading into downtown Atlanta but also from drivers seeking refuge from congestion on Interstates 75 and 285.

“The rest of the time, it’s not really a problem,” said Robin Dickson, owner of Allure Dance Studio at 2890 Cobb Pkwy., Atlanta, near Akers Mill Road.

Looking out of his dance studio Wednesday, Dickson said traffic seemed to be moving along at a fast pace, but it’s when an accident or other delay happens on the interstate that traffic backs up.

He called the widening project a “Catch 22.”

Widening the road could make it more difficult for clients to find his business, Dickson said, but it may give him more exposure.

“I think it will ultimately hurt some business, but on the other hand, maybe it will expose Cobb Parkway to more cars and people will see all the wonderful businesses on Cobb Parkway,” Dickson said.

The project takes into account the long-term growth expected in Cobb and is intended to alleviate traffic as more people working in Atlanta seek out suburban homes in Cobb.

“The growth, of course, in Cobb County over the last 20 years has been huge, and it continues to grow,” McKinnon said.

Bob Ott, who represents the area on the Cobb Board of Commissioners, says it should “greatly enhance” traffic flow for the area that is in the middle of the Cumberland Community Improvement District where high density condo buildings are being built.

“I do think it will be an improvement in traffic,” Ott said.

The mile stretch of pavement set to be widened will join another road project under construction now.

Construction is underway for the widening of Cobb Parkway approaching the bridge crossing the Chattahoochee River at the Cobb-Fulton County line.

“We built the bridge in anticipation of this project,” McKinnon said.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
more lanes more cars
August 08, 2013
Why haven't we learned yet that "more lanes" simply yields more cars due to displacement from other avenues? This won't help 41 in Cumberland. It might lighten the load on parallel surface routes Atlanta Rd and Power's Ferry, and perhaps on I-75, but you know what? History proves that whenever that happens, more cars get added and congestion becomes worse and worse.

What the heck has to happen around here before we ever will want commuter rail?

If we take all the annual traffic fatalities and serious injuries and just perform them as a Christmas Sacrifice Ritual on December 25th will that start getting people to realize they worship a false God, their car?

Cars kill more Georgians every year than Al Qaeda has ever killed.
Tippy tom
August 08, 2013
Commuter rail would be a great idea if everyone lived / worked along the route. Too bad that's not the reality. In reality I would get in my car at 5am, drive 30 minutes to the nearest station, By the time I get parked, get on the train and the train leaves maybe now its 6am. Travel time including various stops along the way I get to my stop say 6:30/6:45, So now I get off the train, Work is still six miles away, Now I have to hail a cab or catch a bus (Assuming there is a bus that can drop me off close to work ). I walk or run to the bus stop, catch the bus, By now it's probably 7:00 am when I am dropped off and I walk the next few blocks to my job. I arrive maybe 7:30 am. That commute just took me 2 1/2 hours.

Commuter rail ? No thank you, I'll stick with my 1 hour commute, Stay dry/warm, Listen to my tunes and not have to worry about thugs.
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