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City’s investment in corridor study pays off ‘16 to 1’
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
September 26, 2012 02:05 PM | 1874 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roswell’s prescience in undertaking a comprehensive study of the Holcomb Bridge Road Corridor two years ago is already paying off big time.

Based on the results of the study, state transportation officials have earmarked money for a couple of improvement projects at the Holcomb Bridge/Ga. 400 intersection.

“We are excited to report the city is partnering with the Georgia Department of Transportation to implement two of the short-term projects,” said Roswell Transportation Department Planner Andrew Antweiler. “Georgia DOT has currently programmed funding for two projects, Holcomb Bridge Road at Ga. 400 northbound ramp intersection and Holcomb Bridge Road at Warsaw Road extending the left-turn lane.”

The funding of these two projects is a major success of the study, he said. The city paid $100,000 of the $500,000 total cost of the study, with the remainder coming from federal funds. “With these two projects, the city has recognized a 16 to 1 return on our investment,” Antweiler said.

And that is just the beginning. The study lists 22 individual improvement projects for the 1.6 miles of Holcomb Bridge Road from Warsaw Road to Holcomb Woods Parkway. Projects are divided into what can be done in the short term, medium term and long term.

As each of the pieces of the recommended improvements on the list fall into place, traffic flow on and around the notoriously congested intersection should show marked improvement, according to Roswell Councilman Rich Dippolito, who began championing a corridor study as soon as he became council transportation liaison in 2010. The study, begin in 2011, takes into account traffic on streets that feed into the intersection as well as the intersection itself, which provides the most comprehensive approach to fixing the daily traffic bottlenecks there.

Rather than trying to come up with the estimated $46 million for all of the work, the city can do pieces of it as money becomes available. Roswell staff should get kudos for breaking the overall problem down into several manageable projects, Dippolito indicated. “Our ultimate goal was to have a plan to point to, but it’s even better than I envisioned,” he said.

The city is pursuing additional funding for more short-range projects and is in discussions with GDOT on additional partnership opportunities. Some short-term projects are candidates for $6 million in transportation funding from the local bond referendum on the November ballot.

Roswell’s willingness to step up to the plate by investing time, effort and some money into the corridor study brought favorable notice from the state, Antweiler said.

“Georgia DOT staff were engaged throughout the study process and liked the short-term operational improvements so much that they were able to find funding for two projects,” Antweiler said. The fact that this is the intersection of two very heavily traveled state routes — Ga. 400 and Ga. 140 — also increases Georgia DOT’s interest in the study recommendations, he said.

The final study report can be found on the project webpage at www.roswellgov.com/hbr400.

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