Ga. 400 off ramp unique in state: Design is forked east, west



ROSWELL, Ga. – In attempts to untangle northbound traffic coming off Ga. 400, the city of Roswell plans to pioneer a double-pronged exit ramp. This forked ramp will lead travelers to either the current eastbound Holcomb Bridge Road intersection or split early and send traffic to Market Boulevard.

City officials said this new early-off ramp will provide economic viability to Roswell’s southeast quadrant and help to alleviate some of the traffic for the only Ga.400 entryway into the city.

Councilmembers unanimously voted to approve the first step in the process at the April 22 meeting — designing the project.

Parsons Brinckerhoff was selected from a pool of 16 proposals on a qualifications-based selection. The city approved a $477,000 contract with the firm.

Designing the project will take about two years to complete. City officials said they hope the design will be finished by summer of 2015. The estimated construction cost for the project is $3 million, according to Roswell’s Director of Transportation Steven Acenbrak.

The money comes from the $14.7 million bond referendum voted for last November. Of that, $6 million has been budgeted for ramp improvements and landscaping at Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. 400.

“We had done a corridor study and identified a number of projects we wanted to do in order to relieve some of the congestion of this busy corridor and intersection,” said Acenbrak. “This is a very exciting project for our city.”

Roswell’s current off ramp from Ga. 400 leads to eastbound Holcomb Bridge Road. It sees about 70,000 cars a day, according to the city’s corridor study. An early-off ramp would provide immediate access to the Plaza at Roswell Shopping Center and a faster path to Old Alabama Road.

“We want to split the traffic early so the traffic that wants to get to, say, Market Boulevard, doesn’t have to intersperse with the Holcomb Bridge traffic,” Acenbrak said.

Brinckerhoff is a 125-year-old global design firm that has worked on numerous projects across the world including the I-285 bridge structures in Atlanta as well as the Port of Miami Tunnel. Their headquarters is in New York City.

According to Acenbrak, several early-off ramps exist in North Carolina and Florida, but there are reportedly none in Georgia. Roswell’s early-off ramp could be unprecedented in the state.

“It certainly is not a common thing,” he said. “There certainly will be a lot of eyes on this project. We trust this will be a very valuable project for our city.”

Mayor Jere Wood congratulated the transportation department for the idea and the citizens of Roswell for the funding.

“It’s going to be a great project and a model for the state of Georgia,” Wood said.

This article was published in the Revue & News April 25, 2013 edition

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