Braves right on schedule
by Jon Gillooly
June 05, 2014 04:00 AM | 5819 views | 4 4 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Heavy equipment operators work to remove trees, limbs, stumps and roots from the ground at the site of the planned Braves stadium and mixed-use development. Above a grinder turns roots, stumps and other debris into mulch. <br> Staff/Jeff Stanton
Heavy equipment operators work to remove trees, limbs, stumps and roots from the ground at the site of the planned Braves stadium and mixed-use development. Above a grinder turns roots, stumps and other debris into mulch.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
CUMBERLAND — Braves officials are projecting a $14 million cost to move three gas lines that run under the site of their future ballpark.

The work should be complete by mid-November.

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz told a group of community leaders gathered for lunch at Vinings Bank on Tuesday that moving the lines is the first thing the franchise has to do before it can begin building the stadium.

“We found this beautiful site, and we couldn’t believe there’s 82 acres, pristine — with these beautiful trees unbothered by human hands — and we couldn’t figure out why in the world that was until we found out there were three natural gas lines running under it,” Schuerholz said.

“The pipelines will be moved to the perimeter. You can rest easy about that. There will be no gas lines when you come to our game.”

County Chairman Tim Lee agrees the main reason the site wasn’t developed until the county and Braves chose to build there was the cost of moving the lines.

“Unless you were doing a big project and you could build those costs into it, I think that was one of the significant prohibitive factors,” Lee said.

Two of the lines, which run about eight feet underground, are owned by Colonial Pipeline Company, and the third belongs to Atlanta Gas Light Company. They range in width from 24 to 48 inches, said Mike Plant, Braves executive vice president of business operations.

Colonial and AGL will contract companies to move the pipes and be reimbursed for the cost. Funding comes from the $672 million cost to build the stadium, of which the county is paying $300 million.

Plant said Colonial’s lines stretch from New England to Louisiana.

“Normally, when you talk about pipe, a lot of people are thinking about sewer-type, concrete, clay-type pipe,” Plant said. “It’s very high-end, precision-type pipe.”

The lines run about one-third of a mile through the property.

Plant said the relocation job involves three phases.

“Clearing and grading and prepping the land is the first process,” Plant said.

Plant said he’s hired Austell-based Plateau Excavation, Inc. to perform the initial grading work.

Grading work has been underway for the last month.

“There’s a 100-foot easement (that) is basically the width of where the new three pipelines off Circle 75 will go in,” he said. “So they got to do a ton of grading work. We’re knocking down some trees. They’re doing all the initial water runoff retention; (they’ve) got to put screens out there. All the initial grading to prep the site for when the pipeline company comes in and starts digging the trenches to lay the pipe.”

The second phase is digging the trenches, which will serve as the resting place for the new pipes. Last, the old pipes will be torn out.

The lines run under Interstate 285, but buildings can’t be erected on top of them, Plant said.

“Because if you ever had a problem, you had to get to it. You can’t tear down buildings,” he said. “You can tear up asphalt, dirt and concrete, but you can’t tear down buildings.”

While the pipework is underway, Plant said the Braves will begin initial stadium grading work.

Lee called the process “very orderly.”

“The good news is they have a lot of property to work in, so they can move a lot of dirt around without having little or no impact at all in the surrounding community is what they’re doing,” Lee said. “I don’t know of any complaints or comments or anything because of the project.”

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Troubled Cobb
June 05, 2014
I find it amazing that with all the talk of extra revenue there still is a lapse in discussion of the extra costs the Braves stadium will bring to Cobb County. The Cobb Public Safety Departments of Police and Fire are in shambles. The police department continues to lose police officers to smaller agencies wasting millions of dollars in training. All because the county commissioners have ignored requests for additional resources to retain the current officers. We all should want a strong police department with highly competitive pay and benefits to attract good officers. The police department is currently at the lowest level of staffing since 2003. The Braves stadium will require approximately 160 police officers per game for the entire 60-acre complex. There is absolutely no way the police department can fill the beats in the five current precincts and secure the Braves entertainment complex. Where is the plan to fix the problems that have deteriorated the police department the last 10 years? Then A plan will need to be put into effect to increase the Cobb County Police Department by approximately 250 officers. Oh Yeah, this commission has less than three years to address these issues. They are currently stalling the issues with a $350,000 county-wide pay study. Visit for the facts
June 05, 2014
The gift that keeps on giving the taxpayers gets to pick up the bill for that well! That’s why King Lee stacked the deck on comments he learned this from fellow Democrat Barack Obama. You get people to a meeting when working class people can’t be there and ram something down their throats. Will this bond ever get paid off and where the taxpayer collateral or we just going on the word of rich white guys form the chamber. Has any of Cobb Counties bonds ever been paid off I want to see the list and the real cost show me the money traial!!
June 05, 2014
This project will easily pay off for Cobb Taxpayers. The CID has long invested in the area and it has paid huge dividends for Cobb County and Cobb taxpayers. I guess every community needs its consumer watchdogs and Gadflies. But the County is actually being way too conservative in its estimates for the revenues this will generate for the county. As for jobs for citizens, it will generate more than 5,000 construction jobs with $235,000,000 in construction earnings, $35,000,000 of which will be in earned in Cobb County....and more than 3,000 ongoing ballpark jobs, resulting in $35,000,000 in earnings, with 1,600 of those jobs in Cobb County, resulting in earnings of $6,000,000 in Cobb County. Visitor spending will bring in 873 jobs which provide $25,000,000 in earnings, of which $8,900,000will be earned in the county.

Keep on giving
June 05, 2014
You are one of the gifts that we as observers have amusment watching as you try to stretch the truth to make your case. Maybe if you followed the story you could have focused on where the Braves are responsible for any additional costs. Or maybe if you voted you would know Mr. Lee is 100% REPUBLICAN! But hey that would not give you the opportunity to bash our President. You missed that he should be impeached though. So much for CSI, more like LOL.
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