Plan adopted for Big Creek Parkway; Ga. 400 interchange redesigned
ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell nailed down plans for the final leg of Big Creek Parkway this fall.
The alignment, with a price tag of just over $44 million, is one of the city’s largest transportation projects to date and will create a new east-west connector over Ga. 400. Funding comes from the transportation sales tax passed by voters in 2016.
Big Creek Parkway was proposed nearly 10 years ago as an alternative east-west route across Ga. 400 that would relieve pressure along Holcomb Bridge Road.
Earlier this year, the city approached GDOT about a partnership to redesign and replace the interchange at Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. 400 as part of the state’s new express lane project on Ga. 400. The interchange redesign incorporates new measures to improve traffic on Holcomb Bridge through the area.
To free up money for the partnership, Roswell devised a plan to save millions on Big Creek Parkway. Those savings were then funneled into the interchange project with GDOT.
It all hinged on a redesign of Big Creek Parkway.
The city finally settled on a plan that modifies the original design with a longer, less-direct route from Warsaw Road, east over Ga. 400, to Old Alabama Road. The route would still support about the same amount of traffic as the earlier design and is estimated to save the city $12 million. Those savings can now go to support the interchange collaboration.
Computer Museum opens
The Computer Museum of America held its grand opening July 20 for Phase I of its development.
The museum, located at the Roswell Town Center on the corner of Holcomb Bridge Road and Alpharetta Street, houses one of the largest collections of computers and artifacts from the digital revolution. It includes prototypes, one-of-a-kind developments and original technologies preserved in Smithsonian-level quality, said founder Lonnie Mimms.
Modeled after the likes of Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Computer Museum of America is a gathering and learning space to inspire people of all ages. Currently, its exhibits include the moon landing, a timeline of modern computing, IBM and Apple technology, early video game technology, a Byte magazine archive and Cray supercomputers.
The museum centerpiece is a temporary exhibit that tells the story of the moon landings, complete with several equipment models and an immersive moon landing scene including an Apollo Lunar Module model.
One of the crown jewels of the museum is its Cray supercomputer collection, named after the father of supercomputers Seymour Cray. It is one of the largest collections of these supercomputers, which have been used in military defense, animation and weather forecasting.
City completes park land purchase
The City of Roswell purchased the last section of the Seven Branches Property for passive use and preservation this year.
The property, which sits on Holcomb Bridge Road near East Roswell Park, contains 50 acres of undeveloped land. A unanimous vote at the Oct. 15 City Council meeting added another 3.5 acres.
The city first began buying property along Seven Branches in September 2017 to preserve some of the land. At the time, Roswell paid $2.1 million for 21 acres and received an additional 13 acres as a charitable contribution.
The final 3.5-acre purchase did not exceed $9,000.
About 47 acres of the entire Seven Branches property are subject to restrictions to promote passive land use. The remaining 6 acres can be used for future needs, such as parking lots and restrooms.
New council member elected
All incumbents for Posts 1 and 2 on the City Council as well as the municipal judge retained their positions in 2019, and voters chose a new councilwoman for Post 3, which was vacated earlier this year.
Incumbent Marcelo Zapata, who ran against Don Horton, won the Post 1 election. He will continue to serve as the liaison to the city’s Administration and Finance Department, a position he’s held since 2016.
Incumbent Mike Palermo, who has likewise held his seat since 2016, won the Post 2 race against Geoff Smith. Post 2 serves as the liaison to the Community Development Department.
Municipal Judge incumbent Brian Hansford won by a wide margin, garnering nearly three-quarters of the vote against Philip Mansell.
Earlier this fall, Sean Groer resigned from Post 3, the liaison to the Administration and Finance Department, when his family moved to Chattanooga, Tenn.
The race for Post 3 fielded four candidates. The race went to a runoff and, on Dec. 3, voters chose Christine Hall as the new councilwoman. She won against Lisa Holland.