ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell City Council allocated an additional $243,750 more in design costs for Big Creek Parkway, an east-west connector poised to alleviate traffic congestion in the city’s Ga. 400 corridor.

The funds will help lay the blueprint for extending Big Creek Parkway to Warsaw Road. The new thruway is part of a $44.1-million effort to increase east-west connectivity and ease congestion on Holcomb Bridge Road at the Ga. 400 interchange.

City officials voted to modify the contract with Gresham Smith, the project’s design consultant.

Council members approved the contract amendment with project design firm Gresham Smith without discussion as a consent agenda item during their Oct. 13 meeting.

Transportation Director Muhammad Rauf gave council members a detailed presentation on the project at a Sept. 30 Community Development and Transportation Committee meeting.

Big Creek Parkway will be a two-lane connector roadway that starts at Warsaw Road and runs east to Old Alabama Road. It will feature a new bridge spanning Ga. 400, and the project will rebuild an existing bridge on Old Holcomb Bridge Road.

City officials envision the road will be a pressure valve to reduce eastbound and westbound traffic coming off Ga. 400 at Holcomb Bridge Road.

Phase 1 of the two-pronged project will widen Warsaw Road, add turn lanes and include improvements at its intersection with Holcomb Bridge Road. At the Sept. 30 committee meeting, Rauf said a phase 1 construction contract could come before the committee within the next month. He estimated construction on that portion of the project would get underway by early next spring.

The new roadway and bridge are slated to be built as part of the project’s second phase, which will also feature upgrades at the Old Holcomb Bridge Road.

Initial plans for Big Creek Parkway called for the roadway to extend to Holcomb Bridge Road’s junction at Old Holcomb Bridge Road. But during an August 2019 open house, residents requested the thruway be extended farther west to Warsaw Road. Four days later, the City Council pushed forward that request at a work session. The board later approved a $1.5 million contract for design of the realigned road at a Sept. 9, 2019 council meeting.

That contract with Gresham Smith did not include costs for extending the road. Rauf said the money earmarked during the Oct. 13 meeting covers that work. He noted that the amount was already included as contingency funds in the existing contract.

“I certainly support this, connection to Warsaw is a crucial detail,” Councilman Mike Palermo said at the Sept. 30 committee meeting.

Palermo asked Rauf why it took so long for the contract modification to come before the board

“We wanted to bring you an exact amount for what it’s going to need to design it,” Rauf said.

Rauf said he hopes to begin the design-build bid process for phase 2 of the project next fall. He indicated that plans for the project continued over the past year and the need to amend the design contract has not held up progress.

“Nothing is changing scheduling wise,” he said. “We just wanted to be sure that we bring it just once for approval.”

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