Board OKs design for Cumberland’s bridge improvement
by Sarah Westwood
June 11, 2014 04:00 AM | 2147 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to advance a $1.35 million bridge beautification project that has been in the works since 2012. The project involves the construction of a decorative structure on the Cumberland Boulevard Bridge that stretches over Interstate 75, near Cobb Galleria. The bridge, a rendering of which is seen above, will be adorned with three blue arches that will look like waves when lit, said Jim Wilgus, deputy director of Cobb’s transportation department.<br>Special to the MDJ
The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to advance a $1.35 million bridge beautification project that has been in the works since 2012. The project involves the construction of a decorative structure on the Cumberland Boulevard Bridge that stretches over Interstate 75, near Cobb Galleria. The bridge, a rendering of which is seen above, will be adorned with three blue arches that will look like waves when lit, said Jim Wilgus, deputy director of Cobb’s transportation department.
Special to the MDJ
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MARIETTA — The Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to advance a $1.35 million bridge beautification project that has been in the works since 2012.

The project involves the construction of a decorative structure on the Cumberland Boulevard Bridge that stretches over Interstate 75, near Cobb Galleria.

The bridge will be adorned with three blue arches and will look like waves when lit, said Jim Wilgus, deputy director of Cobb’s transportation department.

Construction is expected to begin this December with a projected completion date of six months later.

Tad Leithead, chair of Cumberland Community Improvement District, said the initial vision for the project saw ornaments on both sides of the bridge. As his organization began to explore costs, the decision was made to limit the improvements to the south side of the bridge.

A special Georgia Department of Transportation grant will fund 80 percent of the project, Leithead explained, while the Cumberland CID will pay for the remaining 20 percent.

Commissioners helped the project clear another hurdle Tuesday on its journey to fruition, despite the fact the county will not direct funds to the beautification.

“Everything we do, we do in a cooperation agreement with the county,” Leithead said of the reason why the project required authorization by commissioners. “We involve the county in virtually everything that we do.”

The side of the bridge receiving the makeover faces Atlanta, so drivers entering Cobb will pass under a “gateway” following the project’s completion.

Commercial property owners form a CID in an area when they agree to tax themselves at a higher rate, up to 5 additional mills. Those tax dollars are leveraged to secure larger sums from the state and federal government, which in turn are used to pay for area infrastructure improvements.

“Normally, the CID does improvements in the area, but it’s at their cost,” Commissioner JoAnn Birrell explained. “So I’m OK with it.”

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June 11, 2014
Does anyone really believe that jazzing up a bridge over the interstate draw people to a certain area? What a huge waste of money.
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