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Thu November 14, 2013
Cobb Explores $3.5 Million Bridge for Braves Stadium
Since the Braves announced plans to build a new stadium in Cobb County on Monday, some area residents have said they’re worried about potential traffic congestion. Cobb Transportation officials say they’re working to ensure that doesn’t happen. They say if the proposed stadium moves forward, the area should be able to handle traffic well by opening day of 2017. Officials say one thing that could help would be the construction of a pedestrian bridge over I-285.
Cobb Transportation officials started looking at the possibility this week. They say the bridge could be used to transport fans by foot and by shuttle from the Galleria area to the new stadium. Faye DiMassimo directs the county’s transportation department.
“You’ll be able to move those people very efficiently, and if people come to that area and want to park over there and want to use a pedestrian facility or transit to make their way over to the site, they’ll be able to do that as well...It’s just offering more options.”
DiMassimo says officials estimate the bridge would cost $3.5 million to build. She also says state and federal officials would have to sign off on the project.
“We would have to do an environmental document because it occupies airspace over the interstate, so the Federal Highway Administration and Georgia Department of Transportation would have approval over that; and then if there were any federal or state funding in it they would need to approve that; or if we did it completely with local funding, even at that, the environmental document would have to be approved by them.”
Meanwhile, some area residents like Cobb County Resident Jan Barton have expressed concerns about how a new stadium would affect traffic and county taxpayers. Barton voiced her concerns during a County Commission meeting Tuesday.
“What are the calculated costs and terms of added traffic delays, added bus transit costs and impact to local businesses due to added the traffic congestion?”
In response to traffic concerns, DiMassimo says there are several exit and entry points to the proposed stadium site. She also says there are a number of projects that are planned or are already underway to alleviate traffic issues near the proposed stadium. DiMassimo says those improvements include a diverging diamond interchange at I-75 and Windy Hill Road and the widening of Cobb Parkway.