MARIETTA — The City Council got a first glimpse Wednesday of a $750,000 walking and biking bridge that will be built over the South Loop near the Square.
Construction on the bridge, which will be 117.5 feet long and 10 feet wide, is expected to begin in August 2013 and finish by August 2014, city engineer Jim Wilgus said.
The bridge will be next to the CSX railroad bridge that also stretches over the South Loop between the intersections of the South Loop and Powder Springs Street and South Loop and Atlanta Street.
Each side will sport columns made from granite similar to the decorative stone columns that already dot portions of the city. The steel bridge will be 15 feet above the road from its base, with the top arch reaching about 25 feet high, Wilgus said.
The bridge is part of the Kennesaw Mountain to Chattahoochee River walking trail. Marietta’s cost of the trail, which is being paid for with 2005 SPLOST funds and federal dollars, totals $4.8 million.
Mayor Steve Tumlin said the rendering “knocked my socks off.”
“To take the walking trail and make that an entrance way into the city is just going to be something we’re going to be very proud of,” Tumlin said. “It’s going to be an icon. It’s at the perfect place: Powder Springs Street, the Loop, Atlanta Street, and it’s not only attractive, it’s functional as it enters into Brown Park and the Confederate Cemetery.”
About four miles of the trail stretch through the city, beginning at the Kennesaw Mountain Visitor’s Center and ending near the city/county line at West Atlanta and Pearl streets. The portion of the trail that has been completed to date goes from Kennesaw Mountain to Rose Lane.
The bridge’s sides will be lined with a fence “so people can’t throw stuff from the bridge,” Wilgus said.
The current rendering has the word “Kennesaw” on one of stone columns facing drivers headed east into the city, but City Council members asked for that to be changed to “Mountain to River Trail.”
The city is paying ARCADIS of Atlanta $650,000 for the design work on the trail project, Wilgus said.
During the Council’s Public Works Committee on Wednesday, staff also presented Council members with an option that had the bridge columns topped with cones, but Council members told staff to move forward with the version that had flat-topped columns.
“That’s going to be an impression a driver is going to have that this city cares to go the extra mile,” Tumlin said.
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