JOHNS CREEK — The Johns Creek City Council approved construction for the first park from its $40 million park bond, while also laying the groundwork for the larger Cauley Creek park Jan. 27.
In a night of unanimous votes, the council also advanced several traffic projects.
Approved by referendum in 2016, the parks bond was intended to fund two new large parks, two new pocket parks and improvements to existing parks. In the summer of 2018, as the council was presented with conceptual designs for the parks, they realized costs would be about double what was budgeted in the bond.
Forced to scale down and reprioritize projects, the council’s progress was slow until last fall’s council election renewed attention to the parks bond. Now, with two fresh faces on the council, the city approved a $2.3 million construction contract for the Morton Road Pocket Park.
The plans are to break ground in February with a ribbon cutting late October, Parks Manager Robby Newton said.
“There’s a lot of excitement in these neighborhoods,” Newton said. “We still field calls every week. ‘When is this park coming?’”
During the meeting, some neighbors raised concerns about the park’s impact on stormwater runoff. The council approved construction with the condition that the staff would work to include porous ground materials where possible within the budget.
“We can talk to the contractor, if we can get it within the existing budget, we can make those changes relatively simply,” Public Works Director Lynette Baker said.
The 4-acre neighborhood park will include rubber-surfaced earth mounds, an open play area and playground, a pavilion, picnic shelters, a multi-use path and half-court basketball.
“I realize that for the neighbors immediately around the park that there may be things that you’re concerned about, but it sounds like public works is doing everything they can to accommodate and mitigate those concerns,” Councilman John Bradberry said. “This is something that the community has long wanted, so I look forward to the ribbon cutting.”
The council also commissioned the first construction documents for Cauley Creek Park. The $492,000 contract with Barge Design Solutions will include partial plans for the entire park, environmental permitting and complete plans for the multi-use trail.
The city staff anticipates plans could be completed this spring and that part of the trail could go to construction as soon as this summer. A large portion of the park requires outside environmental permitting, which could take six months to a year.
In other business at the meeting, the council approved three intersection upgrades along Old Alabama Road. The projects were chosen based on the intersection prioritization policy approved last year. For about $550,000 the city will construct traffic signals at Spruill Road and Autry Falls Way and a turn lane extension at Foxworth Drive.
The city also approved a contract with Bartow Paving for its annual asphalt patching and pavement maintenance initiative. For about $570,000, Bartow will complete repairs along McGinnis Ferry Road, State Bridge Road, Old Alabama, and other minor roads.