JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — For the past few years, the transportation sales tax approved by voters in 2016, TSPLOST, has been one of the most contentious issues facing Johns Creek.
Despite persisting disagreements over interpretations of the law, in October, the City Council sent two TSPLOST projects to construction.
The first project is at the intersection of Bell Road and McGinnis Ferry. For about $1.7 million, the city will extend the northbound right-turn lane on Bell Road and add through lanes on McGinnis Ferry.
“I know many of us, while we may not agree on the method, we can agree traffic kind of stinks here in Johns Creek and throughout Metro Atlanta,” Mayor Mike Bodker said at the time of approval. “This will be one step forward, hopefully, to improving both safety, which we call operational improvements, and congestion relief.”
The project is part of a group of improvements to the Bell-Boles corridor. The city plans to make intersection improvements, such as adding or extending turn lanes, at Bell and Medlock Bridge Road and at Boles and Abbotts Bridge. The city also plans to replace the bridge over Cauley Creek tributary and add roundabouts along Bell Road. These projects are in the design stage and some could enter right-of-way acquisition early next year.
The council also approved plans to widen State Bridge Road from Camden Way to the Chattahoochee River. The project includes a pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee and traffic signal upgrades at Camden Way and St. Georgen Common.
By sharing costs with Gwinnett and Fulton counties, the project is expected to come in under budget by at least $1.7 million.
Though not yet near construction, throughout the year the council worked on plans for upgrades to Jones Bridge Road, Haynes Bridge Road, Barnwell Road, McGinnis Ferry and the intersection of Medlock Bridge and State Bridge.
Disagreement remains over to what degree the council can deviate from the projects as they were proposed to the public in advance of the 2016 referendum for the sales tax. Where the city said it would widen the road from two to four lanes, could the city add a center turn lane instead? The city attorney has said such an alteration could invite a lawsuit.