Safety adjustments to a particularly dangerous intersection rank highest among Powder Springs officials’ priorities for SPLOST-funded projects, which include road resurfacing, pedestrian improvements and new police radios.
City Manager Brad Hulsey said the city and county will split the $1.1 million cost of renovating the juncture where Powder Springs and Flint Hill roads crisscross Deercreek and Pine Grove drives.
“It’s where three lanes come into a very busy four-lane road,” Hulsey explained, adding the intersection has produced a “great deal of issue” for an area flanked by several subdivisions.
“What we’re looking to do is make changes to make the intersection safer for our citizens and for all citizens passing through.”
Mayor Pat Vaughn agreed the intersection topped her list of projects to pursue.
“It’s way too dangerous,” she said.
Vaughn said she spoke to one resident of a roadside home in the area who claimed she had witnessed five wrecks along the intersection in the past year.
Because parts of Powder Springs Road run through both unincorporated Cobb and city limits, the intersection improvements will be a joint effort with the county, Hulsey explained.
“My No. 1 priority would be to pave roads,” said Councilwoman Cheryl Sarvis. “We need as much as possible to pave roads. We haven’t been able to do as much of that as we wanted to.”
While Hulsey could not provide a specific estimate of what a repaving effort would cost, he noted the complex process of patching, milling, resurfacing and striping streets work costs about $398,000 per mile of road.
He said several miles of road within Powder Springs’ seven-mile perimeter would require repaving.
“We’re trying to get the main roads repaved first, but we’re trying to get a list of those that have the most need,” Sarvis said.
She noted some of the roads in need of surface repairs run through subdivisions.
Vaughn expressed the city’s desire to revamp “streetscapes” along Marietta Street, extending them to Powder Springs Road.
She said streetscape construction involves adding sidewalks, brick pavers and decorative lighting along roads to improve conditions for pedestrians and upgrade the area’s aesthetics.
The City Council is expected to vote on a final list July 21.
Commissioners are expected to approve a final list of projects July 22, which will be funded by the estimated $750 million the county expects to collect in SPLOST revenue if a six-year tax is agreed upon.
Vaughn said her city’s original project pool was slated to cost $16 million, but had to be whittled down by $2.2 million when 2013 census numbers revealed a drop in the city’s population.
Hulsey noted the allocation of SPLOST dollars to each of the cities is based on population numbers.
Powder Springs officials also hope to outfit their police department with about 50 new radios for a cost of $200,000.
Hulsey said the radios in use by city police will be obsolete by 2018, likening the need for new radios to the need for new cellphones or computers once they become outmoded.
Vaughn agreed the radio replacements amounted to a matter of public safety and said the upgrade will eventually become mandatory.
The Powder Springs City Council will soon announce a public hearing date that will give residents the opportunity to weigh in on proposed projects before it approves the final list.