MARIETTA — Cobb commissioners greenlit Tuesday the first phase of a plan to address one of Cobb’s most congested intersections, at Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway.
Called by the Cobb Department of Transportation “the No. 1, non-interstate bottleneck in the Cumberland area,” the county wants to build an overpass on Windy Hill to eliminate the signal intersection.
As with improvements planned for the East-West Connector between Fontaine Road and South Cobb Drive, DOT spokesperson Brandy McDow said, the project “is in the very early stages.” The full cost is not yet known. The item approved by commissioners authorizes the county to begin a planning study of the area in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).
The ARC will provide up to $320,000 of federal funds toward the study, with the county left to cover another $80,000 from its 2016 SPLOST funds. Other partners include the cities of Smyrna and Marietta, and the Georgia Department of Transportation, McDow said.
Two miles west of the intersection, a project is underway to widen Windy Hill Road and install express lanes, likewise targeting traffic on the thoroughfare. That project is currently under construction and will cost $42 million.
The overpass was one of three joint studies with the ARC to be approved Tuesday. Another joint study will take a look at the Austell-Powder Springs Trail between the two cities, while the third will tackle an extension of the Noonday Creek Trail from the existing Bells Ferry Road Trailhead to Noonday Park in northeast Cobb. Both studies will cost $300,000, with Cobb putting up $60,000 for each.
The Board of Commissioners also hired Melissa Alterio as the county’s new emergency communications director. Alterio will oversee 911 operations for the county and previously held the same position for the city of Roswell since 2015. Alterio replaces Destiny Davidson, who retired in 2020.
In other business, the board approved the following items:
♦ The purchase of Tasers, body-worn cameras, and in-car cameras for Sheriff Craig Owens’ office, costing over $9 million for the next five years.
♦ An upgrade to Cobb Police’s Taser stockpile, costing $4 million over the next 10 years.
♦ The reappointment of Vinings Bank’s Chief Lending Officer Clark Hungerford to the Cobb County Development Authority.