Cobb County Government

Improvements ahead of schedule


Penny by penny, the 2011 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax has already brought numerous improvements to Cobb County transportation.

The program already started work on 83 out of 170 transportation projects, marking 44 percent of the total planned and putting it well ahead of schedule, Cobb County DOT Deputy Director Dan McDuff said.

Bids from contractors are coming in lower than expected because of the diminished economy, he said.

"As a result of the current economic conditions, we are receiving unprecedented contractor bids," McDuff said. "We are pushing out as many projects as we can now."

The county is also ahead of schedule in the number of projects that have started engineering work. These projects include the Collins Road Bridge over Little Allatoona Creek, the New Chastain Bridge over Noonday Creek and the Old Stilesboro Bridge over Little Noonday Creek.

Cobb County has completed 15 construction projects although it had only planned to have five done by this time.

These finished projects include the Holly Springs Road at Davis Road roundabout, which was completed in August and marked the first significant design-build project at Cobb DOT.

This innovative approach, in which the total bid price includes both the design and construction of the project, resulted in significant savings, McDuff said.

The county has completed improvements on Woodland Brook Drive, Paper Mill Road at Sope Creek Elementary School, Mark Avenue Bridge replacement and four drainage projects.

Construction recently started on the $10 million project to improve Shallowford Road, which will include widening the thoroughfare, adding turn lanes and adding sidewalks.

For the first three quarters, figures show the program exceeded projected revenues by more than $7.8 million. The 2011 SPLOST program has raised more than $86.5 million through September.

"While one-third of these funds come from visitors to the county, SPLOST continues to help improve our entire community," Chairman Tim Lee said. "We will strive to keep the good news and the accomplishments coming."