TOWN CENTER — More than six months after breaking ground, motorists in and around northwest Cobb will see a much-anticipated connector bridge erected throughout the next year.
Construction officially began April 9 on the $17.7 million project, which will create a bridge between Frey Road and Busbee Drive over Interstate 75, said Cobb Department of Transportation Director Faye DiMassimo.
“The delay between groundbreaking and the construction you are seeing now was due to the contract review and execution process necessary to accept GDOT funding,” DiMassimo said.
The Town Center Area Community Improvement District, a self-taxing district that includes the area of the bridge, fronted $1.4 million for the preliminary engineering and design work conducted by Marietta-based Croy Engineering and Netherlands-based Arcadis. The Cobb Department of Transportation contributed $5 million from SPLOST funds, Georgia Department of Transportation funded another $10.6 million and Kennesaw State University provided $700,000.
DiMassimo said the current work is to clear a path for the project, which will be followed by installing traffic control measures, such as signs, barriers and lane shifts.
The expected completion date is June 2015.
“This is a standout bridge … because it provides an estimated 19 percent reduction in congestion on Chastain Road,” DiMassimo said about the needed improvements to tie together KSU and the Towne Park business center.
The length of the bridge will be 416 feet, with a little more than half a mile of roadway, including ramps off I-75 and a roundabout.
The bridge and surrounding road improvements will be named the Skip Spann Connector, after a man who worked to fuel growth in the north Cobb suburbs.
Thomas E. “Skip” Spann, who died in August 2012, was the founding chairman of the Town Center Area CID and manager of the Town Center at Cobb mall.
“The Skip Spann Bridge design takes elements from a design contest held in the beginning between teams of students from KSU, Southern Poly and Chattahoochee Tech,” said Lanie Shipp, executive director of the Town Center Area CID. “The bridge will feature a silhouette of Kennesaw Mountain with lights, bike and pedestrian paths, and a roundabout at the eastern end of the bridge.”