In 2016, Cobb County Department of Transportation staff initiated its 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Program, while concurrently completing projects funded from its 2005 and 2011 SPLOST.
For the 2005 SPLOST, engineering/design has 342 identified projects. Construction has started on 335 projects, with 325 projects reaching completion.
Major projects underway or completed in 2016 include:
- Cedarcrest Road
- Circle 75 Parkway drainage
- Johnson Ferry Road at Sewell Mill Road/Pine Road intersection improvement
- Hembree Road at Pope High School
- Hurt Road sidewalks
- Lower Roswell Road (west)
- West Sandtown Road
- Cobb Parkway from Paces Mill Road to Akers Mill Road
For the 2011 SPLOST, engineering/design has 211 identified projects. Construction has started on 182 projects, with more than 172 reaching completion.
Projects completed or underway in 2016 include:
- Skip Spann Connector
- Cobb Parkway/Windy Hill Road intersection improvements and queue jumper lanes
- Factory Shoals Road
- Floyd Road
- Windy Hill Road diverging diamond interchange
- South Barrett Reliever, phase two
- Walker Drive extension
In the first year of the 2016 SPLOST Program, engineering/design identified 47 projects. Construction has started on 26 projects, with eight reaching completion.
Major projects completed or underway in 2016 include:
- Richard D. Sailors Parkway bridge
- Windy Ridge Parkway bridge pedestrian improvements
- Cobb Parkway at I-285 westbound off-ramp
- Spring Road/Circle 75 Parkway
In 2016, the county awarded $26 million for three resurfacing contracts as part of the 2011 and 2016 SPLOST programs. Since October 2011, these contracts have resulted in a total resurfacing of 1,733 streets (560 miles) within the county’s four commission districts. This represents a cumulative investment of $122 million in preserving county infrastructure.
Floyd Road Widening (2011 SPLOST)
This safety and operational improvement project widened Floyd Road, from Veterans Memorial Highway to Clay Road, to accommodate four lanes, adding a divided median, an 8 to 12-foot wide multi-use trail on the west side and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side. The project also added dual left turn lanes from Floyd Road onto Veterans Memorial Highway. This $4.7 million project began in January 2015 and was completed in October 2016.
Cedarcrest Road (2005 SPLOST)
This $3.9 million project widened the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided highway with a raised median from the Cobb County/Paulding County line east to Governor’s Towne Drive. Construction began on this one-mile project in February 2016 and is scheduled for completion in late 2017.
Six Flags Drive (2011 SPLOST)
This $2.1 million project added a raised median along Six Flags Drive, from Factory Shoals Road to Riverside Parkway. The project included realignment of Elsner Road at the intersection of Six Flags Drive, and landscaping of the raised median. The project was completed in December 2016.
Skip Spann Connector (2011 SPLOST)
Construction on the $13 million Skip Spann Connector was completed in March 2016. This project constructed a new bridge over Interstate 75 north of Chastain Road, providing direct access from Kennesaw State University to the Town Center economic activity center. The project reduces daily traffic along Chastain Road at the I-75 interchange, as well as provides congestion relief, improved access from KSU to the Northwest Corridor Managed Lanes access ramps at Big Shanty and the GRTA/CCT park and ride lots and adds much-needed pedestrian and bicycle access between KSU and the stadium.
Windy Hill Road Diverging Diamond Interchange (2011 SPLOST)
This $18 million project consists of operational improvements to the I-75 at Windy Hill Rd. interchange converting the existing traditional interchange to a diverging diamond interchange, which will increase capacity and decrease congestion at the intersections. Construction began in January 2016 and is scheduled for completion in June 2017.
South Barrett Reliever, Phase 2 (2011 SPLOST)
This is the second phase of the three-phase South Barrett Reliever project and consists of constructing a multi-lane roundabout, to include curb and gutter, sidewalks and bike lanes, at the intersection of Barrett Lakes Boulevard, Shiloh Valley Drive and the rear entrance to the Town Center Commons Shopping Center. This $5.4 million project is scheduled for completion in late 2017.
Hembree Road at Pope High School (2005 SPLOST)
This project consists of constructing a safety and operational improvement roundabout for Pope High School, with entering and exiting right-turn, bypass lanes at the currently signalized intersection of Hembree Road and Meadow Drive. Traffic circulation and pedestrian improvements on the school site will facilitate roundabout traffic ingress and egress and improve pedestrian access on campus. The project began in May 2016 and is scheduled for completion in late 2017.
Cobb Parkway at Windy Hill Road Intersection Improvements (2011 SPLOST)
Improvements at this intersection include the addition of dual left turn lanes and queue jumper lanes on the north and south legs of Cobb Parkway. Dual southbound right turn lanes on the north leg of Cobb Parkway will also be included. In addition, the project will lengthen the existing dual left turn lanes and add a right turn lane on the west leg of Windy Hill Road, while adding a third northbound lane on Cobb Parkway exiting to Terrell Mill Road. Construction on this $5.3 million project began in September 2016 and is scheduled for completion in spring 2018.
In the 2016 SPLOST program, engineering has started or completed design for 47 projects utilizing the following methods: Request for Proposals, Task Order Contracting, Unit Price/Modified Unit Price Contracts and In-House Design. These projects include drainage repairs, sidewalks, intersection improvements, thoroughfare and mobility improvements, school zone improvements and bridge replacements and rehabilitations projects.
The Traffic Operations division continues its commitment to improving the safety and efficiency of the county’s highway system. In 2016, the county added flashing yellow arrow traffic signals at 30 new intersections, expanding the safety and operational improvement to 64 of the county’s 546 signalized intersections. First implemented in Cobb County in 2013, flashing yellow arrows more clearly indicate to motorists when to yield before making a left turn across traffic and have shown a substantial reduction in crash risk of about 35 percent. The average cost for each conversion project was approximately $15,000 per approach. Funding for the projects was, for the most part, provided by SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs.
The county successfully completed a pilot project to evaluate permanent dynamic speed display signs for traffic calming safety improvements. Further, the Board of Commissioners approved a policy for implementation to improve roadway safety, for minor collector and local roads and school zones. The signs are now in place on five corridors and in one school zone. The average cost for installation, including both directions, is approximately $10,000 per location. Funding for the project was provided by SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs.
To respond effectively to changes in traffic patterns on thoroughfare roads and provide optimum traffic flow, the county periodically retimes traffic signal systems. In 2016 the Cobb, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation, retimed 51 traffic signals on four corridors: Roswell Road, Johnson Ferry Road, Dallas Highway and Floyd Road.
County staff also reviewed and adjusted timing parameters for 46 signals along five corridors in the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System. The SCATS system is operational in the greater Cumberland/Galleria and Town Center areas and provides automatic traffic signal timing adjustments in real time based on actual traffic conditions monitored by a central computer.
Improvements include adjustments to the system in the greater Town Center area due to traffic pattern changes experienced with the completion of the new Skip Spann Connector. Funding for the corridor retiming projects was provided by GDOT at a cost of about $5,000 per intersection. Funding for the SCATS optimization project was provided by GDOT and SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs at a county cost of $45,000.
In partnership with the City of Smyrna, Cobb expanded the greater Cumberland/Galleria area SCATS adaptive traffic control system to include the Spring Road corridor. Benefits of this project include better traffic signal timing, coordinating traffic signals across jurisdictional boundaries and providing a system that adapts to unpredictable traffic conditions, which are expected, given the proximity of SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta. This project was funded by the City of Smyrna and Cobb County with $240,000 provided from SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs.
Good traffic signal operations require effective vehicle detection. Cobb primarily uses inductance loop and video technologies for that purpose. To improve operations, the county implemented a pilot project to evaluate the use of radar technology for vehicle detection.
Following successful completion of the pilot project, Cobb expanded implementation to now utilize radar technology for vehicle detection at 15 intersections. The cost for this upgrade is about $10,000 per approach. Funding was provided by SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs.
Closed-circuit television traffic cameras are an integral component of the county’s Advanced Transportation Management System. The cameras facilitate signal system management, incident management and event management, which improves mobility and minimize traffic delays. In 2016, staff significantly improved road coverage by adding 27 traffic cameras across the county, bringing the total to 170. Funding for the project was provided by GDOT and SPLOST Transportation Improvement Programs at a cost of approximately $8,000 per location.
A major Information Services project slated to begin in 2017 is a new data center funded from the 2016 SPLOST. This center which will provide a secure facility and reliable, modern technology infrastructure for all county data and systems and provide redundancy for county systems in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.
Another SPLOST-funded initiative will be the implementation of a business intelligence tool to enable Cobb departments to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data and create reports or dashboards.
Dashboards will make data readily-available and understandable to decision makers and residents in an interactive, understandable visual format.
With the passage of the 2016 SPLOST, the Sheriff’s Office purchased 25 vehicles that enabled the agency to assign vehicles to the SWAT Team. This will aid with quicker and safer responses to emergency situations across the county.