The $2.4 million Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank grant to the Cumberland Community Improvement District will be used for the Windy Hill Road diverging diamond interchange.
The project is designed for vehicles to cross to the opposite sides of the road on the bridge when entering or exiting the freeway, with the intent to reduce the possibility of crashes by eliminating left turns. After completion of the diverging diamond on Windy Hill Road, motorists will no longer be able to turn right onto I-75 North, according to the state’s website.
The diverging diamond is expected to open in 2016 at a total cost of $20 million, said Jim Wilgus, deputy director for the Cobb Department of Transportation. The funding comes from $5 million from the Cumberland CID, which includes the $2.4 million grant, $6.5 million from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The rest of the funding comes from the special purpose local option sales tax, Wilgus said.
Cobb County is also planning construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Wade Green Road and I-75 to start this fall, according to the state’s website.
Improving the Windy Hill Road interchange will help with traffic flow, providing safer travel conditions for motorists and pedestrians, Deal said.
The county’s transportation department is working on a total of four projects affecting a 1.5-mile span of Windy Hill Road, and the state’s website shows construction will begin toward the end of 2014. Though congestion is expected during construction, no closings will occur while the project is underway, the state website said.
The $1.2 million Town Center Area CID grant award funds to install a roundabout in Kennesaw, which is part of a multiphase roadway project. The roundabout, which will be at the intersection of Barrett Lakes Boulevard and Shiloh Valley Drive, is expected to start construction in late 2015 at a total cost of $4.4 million, Wilgus said. The remaining funds for this project will come from SPLOST.
“It’s easier to fund projects in smaller amounts,” Wilgus said, adding that the roundabout is only part of the phase two project that will help ease traffic flow and reduce congestion on Barrett Parkway.
The roundabout is further designed to make a path for cyclists and pedestrians by connecting U.S. 41/Cobb Parkway to Barrett Parkway east of I-75. This will serve as an alternative, parallel east-west roadway.
Part of the challenge, Wilgus said, is that there aren’t “great ways for pedestrians to get from Cobb to Barrett” parkways.
“A lot of what we’re doing is increasing connectivity for pedestrians in the form of multiuse trails and sidewalks,” he said.
The state’s website says roundabouts are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative form of traffic control because they are safer, cheaper, more efficient, have a higher traffic capacity and can be landscaped.