JOHNS CREEK, Ga. —The Johns Creek Public Works Department has refined plans for Haynes Bridge Road and is seeking the City Council’s permission to enter the next stage of planning.
At an Aug. 19 work session, department heads presented how plans have been adjusted in response to public feedback.
By 2016 estimates, Haynes Bridge Road sees 18,000 cars per day, 47 percent over capacity. A four-lane road could handle nearly 36,000 and reduce delays by 1 minute and 19 seconds per car.
Widening Haynes Bridge Road from Old Alabama to Mansell Road is a Tier 1 TSPLOST project. With a budget of $5 million from Johns Creek and a matching amount from Alpharetta, it is to be funded by the transportation sales tax approved by voters in 2016.
A shopping center and residential subdivisions lie along the corridor, and it serves as a connector to Ga. 400, North Point Mall, Haynes Bridge Middle and Mount Pisgah schools, and Newtown Park. Though a segment of Roswell backs up to Haynes Bridge, the city does not own the road and therefore will not directly contribute to the project.
Plans call for widening the road from two to four lanes from Old Alabama to Mansell, adding landscaped medians and expanding sidewalks.
In January 2018, the Johns Creek City Council authorized the Public Works Department to enter the concept phase, which includes analyzing existing conditions, public input and rough designs. There was high turnout from Alpharetta, Roswell and Johns Creek residents in November 2018 when public input sessions were held.
Now, Public Works is asking for $400,000 to move on to the engineering phase. The question is expected to come before the council Sept. 9.
Based on public feedback, the plans now include a separate right turn lane at the intersection with Old Alabama Road, so that drivers wishing to turn right are not held up by those waiting to go straight into the Chartwell neighborhood.
The engineers also expect to connect some properties to Alvin Road, so that drivers may use that light to turn onto Haynes Bridge Road, rather than trying to directly turn onto the busier road.
Some residents asked the Public Works team to consider adding roundabouts to the road. Deputy Public Works Director Chris Haggard said roundabouts for four-lane roads come with a $2 to $3 million price tag, outside the project’s budget.
Additionally, they likely would not significantly improve travel times for drivers, he said.
“The fact that the side roads of Alvin Road or some of the neighborhood road are much lower volume than the main road — it’s not going to improve operation a whole lot,” Haggard said. “If you want operational roundabouts, you want a 60-40, 70-30 kind of split for the side roads. I would guess Alvin Road is 10 percent to Haynes Bridge.”
However, roundabouts could be considered for safety or traffic calming reasons. Several residents raised concerns about speeding along the road, which a well-placed roundabout could reduce.
Councilwoman Stephanie Endres asked the engineers to consider reducing lane widths to 10 feet lanes, rather than 11 feet, to reduce speeds without the cost of a roundabout and to minimize the road footprint.
The current conceptual design includes a sidewalk that will connect residential neighborhoods with the Haynes Bridge Middle School and Big Creek Greenway and a multiuse trail on the opposite shoulder. Bike lanes are not being considered along the road.
Other public comments asked about landscaping, sound abatement and “Do Not Block the Box” markings, which will be considered near or after the completion of the project.
“When you’re done with all that, we still want to make sure light and sound are protected against, and to leave it better than where we [we started],” Mayor Mike Bodker said.
The engineering plans will also look at coordinating the signal times of the six traffic lights along the corridor.