Bridge to link KSU campus to Town Center area
by Jon Gillooly
April 12, 2013 12:05 AM | 5872 views | 3 3 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A bridge, expected to open in spring 2015, will connect the Kennesaw State University campus on the west side of I-75 with the Town Center business community on the east side, relieving traffic on the Chastain Road overpass to the south.<br>Special to the MDJ
A bridge, expected to open in spring 2015, will connect the Kennesaw State University campus on the west side of I-75 with the Town Center business community on the east side, relieving traffic on the Chastain Road overpass to the south.
Special to the MDJ
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An October groundbreaking is planned for a new bridge over Interstate 75 north of Chastain Road. The bridge will link Kennesaw State University’s campus off Frey Road to the Town Center business community at Busbee Drive.

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.
Comments
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Dave Z.
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April 12, 2013
Since the public meeting is an afterthought, I guess public input isn't on the agenda? Not that public input is seriously considered anyway.

I actually think it's a good project and its future economic impact is worth the money.

I just don't want the east "slip ramp" to take out Chicago Pizza. It's hard to find good deep dish pizza around here.

Be Careful
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April 12, 2013
I have only 1 issue. Why does it cost 1.4 MILLION dollars to design a bridge?

And why does it take 2 engineering firms to do it?

Think about it, bridges have been being built over interstates for decades now. They are all standard steel reinforced concrete and there should be a whole library of data concerning how strong it has to be to bear the weight of the projected traffic.

Seems to me by now you could plug those data sets into a computer and have the design in 5 minutes.

Does NOBODY question why things are SO expensive? I guess not, since it's not their money they are spending.

Croy and ARCADIS are laughing all the way to the bank.
anonymous
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April 13, 2013
It takes several firms because there are several engineering tasks involved: civil, structural, geotechnical, traffic, environmental, electrical for lighting and signal design. Like any other business sector, engineers specialize in each of these sectors and rarely do they do tasks in sectors other than their specialty due to the high risk and liability. You wouldn't hire a Cardiologist to do Neurosurgery, same concept here.

As far as costs, I agree 1.4M seems excessive. Much of the cost drivers are due to the excessive documentation specific to the project needed for federal and state funding extending the project length from a couple years to 10 years . As an Engineer I agree with you that this could and should be done more efficiently but much of this is out of the designers control and would require substantial changes on a state and federal level to change.

As far as copying previous bridges, It would be great to submit generic documents of previous bridge designs but again these short cuts come with huge liabilities. Bridges would have to be drastically over designed which would drive construction costs up negating any savings. Given the personal liability for every project stamped, you would have a hard time finding an engineer to sign off on someone else's design, it would be like turning in someone else's homework but risking their career or jail time for wrong answers.

just another perspective.
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