Road closures in Cobb County prove frustrating for residents
by Hilary Butschek
May 24, 2014 04:00 AM | 6590 views | 6 6 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Traffic backups in Cobb County will last longer than Memorial Day weekend.

There will be multiple roads closed or reduced to one lane during the coming summer months, according to the Cobb County Department of Transportation.

Keith Wykle, a construction worker from west Cobb, said he has experienced frustrating traffic for the past two days in west Cobb County.

“It was bumper to bumper yesterday afternoon,” Wykle said.

Going into Memorial Day weekend, Jim Wilgus, deputy director of the Cobb DOT, said Burnt Hickory Road was closed and Dallas Highway was limited to one lane.

Wykle was set back an hour in traffic because he said there were no signs Thursday Burnt Hickory Road was closed for the replacement of the bridge over Mud Creek for a $1.45 million construction deal.

“They’ve got Burnt Hickory closed down and they didn’t have any signs that it was closed down yesterday,” Wykle said. “I got all the way up to the bridge before there was sign saying there was a closure.”

Wilgus said the road will not reopen between Ernest W. Barrett Parkway and Due West Road until July 28, but that warnings of a detour ahead were now placed along the road.

“At the very first, whenever you’re closing a road to replace a bridge, there’s always a little confusion,” Wilgus said.

Dallas Highway, which will be reduced to one lane between Casteel Road and Villa Rica Highway on and off for the next four months, is being worked on for a $2.95 million construction deal to build a trail next to it.

“We’re looking at some different options out there,” Wilgus said about the one-lane limit.

But Wykle thinks it’s bad timing.

“That’s two main arteries coming out of Marietta that carry a tremendous amount of traffic, and they’ve chosen to close them down,” Wykle said.

The commuter said it was like “a parking lot” out on the roadway.

Later this summer, more roads will close for construction projects.

Stout Parkway, which runs through Powder Springs, is closed between Holman Road and Brown Road until July 28 to replace a bridge, Wilgus said.

Queen Mill Road will be closed from June 2 to 14 to repave the roadway and sidewalks, Wilgus said.

And, Wilgus said, Old Stilesboro Road, which runs through Kennesaw, will be closed from the county line up to Cheatham Hill Road to replace a bridge from mid-June to September.

A rush of repairs come in the summer to avoid school traffic, Wilgus said.

“We know that (a bridge replacement) is going to close a road,” he said. “We try to schedule a bridge replacement as soon as school closes.”

The process of replacing a bridge typically takes two months, Wilgus said.

Bob Weatherford, a former Acworth Board of alderman, will face Bill Byrne, a former county chairman, in a July runoff for the county commissioner seat in District 1, which includes Dallas Highway and Burnt Hickory Road, said traffic is frustrating. But, he said, it’s also a sign of prosperity.

“In a lot of ways, even though it’s not good, it’s a good problem to have. People want to live in Cobb,” Weatherford said.

No one road improvement can provide relief, he said.

“It’ll be an improvement, but it’ll probably never solve the problem,” Weatherford said.

Byrne said he plans on looking into ways to improve traffic in the future because the county continues to grow.

“With the Braves organization and the development that is going to bring, the needs for transportation improvement are going to be equally important, and I think one of the very present issues that this commission is going to face,” Byrne said.

Comments
(6)
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Move On
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May 24, 2014
Quit your whining, one Lane on Dallas no big deal, once you reach Whitlock you have one lane all the way to the square. Why not complain about Whitlock? Closures on Dallas and Burnt Hickory are only temporary, Whitlock is one lane forever!! No valid complaint concerning closing a road for a few months. Typical selfish whiners. Petition Marietta to do something about Whitlock!
Angry Citizen
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May 24, 2014
How dumb could Cobb County be? Why do both at the same time?
Thomas a voter
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May 24, 2014
This was stupid. It shows a complete lack of communication. Why close down both? Progress my rear end. Close for the bridge, then once it is repaired, work on Dallas Hwy. This is so frustrating and moronic. I will have to avoid traveling and businesses in that area. Paulding County is close by and has all the stores I need and will be easy to get to.
Lamentations
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May 24, 2014
"Dallas Highway, which will be reduced to one lane between Casteel Road and Villa Rica Highway on and off for the next four months, is being worked on for a $2.95 million construction deal to build a trail next to it."

A "trail"? Um, what kind of "trail"? A $2,960,000.00 "trail"? How much would a simple "path" cost?

Rick Z
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May 25, 2014
Probably just like the useless trail along Dallas Hwy. between Barrett Pkwy. and John Ward Road that snarled traffic there for months.
I love America Too
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May 24, 2014
Closing Burnt Hickory and 1-laning Dallas Highway is just more evidence that Cobb and Marietta leaders have no respect for the hardworking people of West Cobb, particularly those of us who commute to Atlanta for work each day. Add the Braves to the mix in 2017 and Cobb/Marietta deserves it if every citizen leaves the county. I'll be moving out of state in 3 weeks never to return to Cobb and it is none too soon. Goodbye and Good Riddance.
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