Cobb County Government

Transportation

Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field

Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field continued to see growth in 2016 with assistance of more than $7 million in secured grant funding. Of that funding, $156,813 will be applied to the $211,969 master plan project, which will guide the airport’s development through the next 20 years. It is expected to be completed in summer 2017.

A total of $604,599 was applied toward an $861,053 project to install an approach lighting system to runway 27. The lighting system provides an added visual cue to pilots making an approach to the runway in poor visibility conditions. The project was completed in January 2017.

The amount of $6,306,970 from the Federal Aviation Administration and the State of Georgia will be used for a $6,872,781 project to repair and expand the airport’s north apron. The north apron is the parking ramp for based and transient aircraft. The improvements will maintain a safe environment for aircraft to operate.

Engineering

The 2016-2017 Task Order Contracting RFP was released in January 2016 with the Board of Commissioners approving selected firms in May 2016.  Firms were chosen for five categories which included: Transportation Planning & Environmental Services, Highway Design, Traffic Engineering, Transit and Aviation.  A total of 17 engineering firms were selected for the five categories.

A prequalified list of engineering and associated specialty firms was requested for 2016 -2017.  A total of 78 engineering design firms met qualifications and have been approved to contract business with Cobb County Department of Transportation.

Planning

The Planning Division secured more than $16 million in grant funding from federal and state sources. More than $9.73 million of those secured funding will be used to procure buses, build trails, improve our highways and plan for the future.

Funding highlights include a June 2016 award of $6,532,489 to procure 12 new buses for Route 10X and two buses for the Cumberland Circulator. CobbLinc Route 10X will provide express service from Town Center to the Midtown MARTA station with limited stops at major locations, such as Kennesaw State University. This express service will improve transit options along the I-75 corridor by reducing transfers among existing routes and decreasing travel times.  Service is expected to begin spring 2018.

The Cumberland Circulator creates two new circulator routes within the Cumberland Community Improvement District, which will improve transit access to jobs and key community resources such as SunTrust Park, Cumberland Mall and the Cobb Galleria. Service will begin in March 2017. In addition, the State Road and Toll Authority awarded Cobb County $1.6 million for roadway improvements near Six Flags Over Georgia.

Planning Division staff collaborated with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Service to identify where $2.2 million in grant funding will be used to improve trails in and around the national park.

In October 2016, CCDOT was awarded $37,975 to educate Cobb County residents about pedestrian safety.  Working as a joint effort with the Safety Village and Public Health, the focus of the education campaign are fourth graders and high school students. 

The Federal Transit Administration Region 4 issued a Finding of No Significant Impact determination regarding the Connect Cobb Environmental Assessment. The Connect Cobb project proposes the addition of arterial rapid transit along US 41/Cobb Parkway. The majority of the ART system would operate on dedicated guideway from the Kennesaw area to Cumberland, beginning at the Kennesaw State University station, with 14 access stations across Cobb County. From the Cumberland area, service would continue to the existing MARTA Arts Center Station via I-75 in existing HOV lanes and city of Atlanta arterials. 

Roadway Maintenance

In 2016, the Roadway Maintenance Division procured $1 million in inclement weather equipment and constructed three new salt and gravel material storage facilities to quicken incident response times. Equipment purchases include three right-of-way tractors, a street sweeper, four pick-up trucks, two chippers, four plow attachments, two spreader hoppers, a brine maker, an herbicide and brine application vehicle and 10 tailgate spreaders.

The division also began using GPS mapping-enabled iPads and laptops to optimize routes for creating and resolving work requests digitally rather than via paper. Roadway Maintenance provided 24-hour responsive services to residents and county departments while maintaining a record free of vehicle accidents and workplace injuries.

Part of the division’s services this year also included a partnership with the sheriff’s office to provide an inmate roadway clean-up crew, which collected more than 45,000 pounds of litter and debris.

Traffic Operations

Cobb implemented an initial Department of Transportation performance dashboard for public review, which can be accessed online on the Cobb County DOT homepage.

In 2015, Cobb assisted motorists by upgrading the public’s ability to view roadway status and traffic information via the Cobb Commute webpage.  In 2016, Cobb County provided even greater access to this traffic information by becoming a government partner in the Waze Connected Citizens Program. The partnership makes Cobb Commute traffic data available to Waze app users and provides motorists with accurate, rapid and mobile access to county traffic information, which in turn, reduces traffic delays.

Utility construction work in right-of-way has increased in the county due to broadband telecommunications expansion and utility pole replacement programs. The county utility group provides needed services to minimize the impacts of utility construction on county roadways, to improve safety, preserve roadway infrastructure and reduce work zone traffic delays. Recent roadway safety improvements include moving 37 utility poles from the clear zone. A total of 1,830 utility permits were issued, and permit fees of approximately $775,000 from telecommunications companies were collected to offset corresponding permit administration and inspection costs.

Transit

In a strategic effort to improve the visibility of Cobb County’s public transportation offerings, the Transit Division rebranded as CobbLinc (formerly Cobb Community Transit or CCT) in early 2016. Thirty-five new CobbLinc-branded and WiFi-enabled buses traverse 17 routes, including the recently modified Routes 10 and 20 as well as the newly-added Route 25.

Operating from the Cumberland Boulevard Transfer Center to MARTA’s Hamilton E. Holmes Station, Route 25 provides increased transit opportunities to south Cobb residents, including paratransit services within three-quarters of a mile of the route for eligible passengers.

The full implementation of an automatic vehicle locator system and a rider information application is expected in 2017. 

In early 2016, Federal Transit Administration staff conducted an on-site financial and program review of the county’s transit system. Staff acted on FTA recommendations and the review is now closed.

Geographic Information System

Using DOT’s road status information system, the Geographic Information System Division automated the department’s weekly travel advisory for construction and closures and provided an XML feed of road events to Waze. This offers residents a more comprehensive picture of traffic conditions in the county.

A two-year implementation plan was developed for the DOT workflow software, Cartegraph Operation Management System. The software went live in April, allowing Roadway Maintenance staff to transition from paper work orders to the use of digital devices in the field.

Story maps for Cumberland area construction projects, the DOT’s Transportation Management Center and the Cobb County International Airport, as well as an updated SPLOST fact sheet and GIS layers for the “What’s In It For Me?” online map were also developed in 2016.

In September, the GIS division received top honors at the Georgia Technology Authority’s Technology Innovation Showcase for the CobbCommute web-based app.

In 2017, snow and ice treatment statuses will be integrated between the operation management system and CobbCommute. GIS staff will also work to display Roadway Maintenance automatic vehicle location information in the management system, improving efficiency of dispatching work trucks to issues.

The operation management system will be integrated with the traffic management center’s BlueTOAD system for automated alerts and requests in 2017.

Street Lighting

The street light program currently provides more than 44,500 street lights throughout Cobb County. Most lights are located within the county’s more than 3,200 street light districts, which collectively serve nearly 118,000 customers. More than 550 new customers were added in 2016. The annual budget for the program in 2016 was approximately $5.6 million. 

Notable achievements in the street light program in 2016 included the continued conversion of high pressure sodium street lights to more energy efficient LEDs. During the year, more than 650 lights were converted including lighting along many major corridors in the Town Center Mall area. 

The area around Town Center also saw completion of the Skip Spann Bridge in 2016 which included 70 new LED light fixtures both on the bridge and adjacent to it. The bridge also contains a signature dual-arch LED lighting element designed to mimic the profile of nearby Kennesaw Mountain. 

The program continues, in partnership with Cumberland CID, installing new lighting in the Cumberland area along many of its corridors. This includes updated street lights and smaller-scale pedestrian lights with approximately 600 new luminaires now in place, most of which are also energy-efficient LEDs.

Upon full implementation, nearly all of the roadways within the Cumberland area will be illuminated with signature, decorative lighting fixtures to enhance the appearance of the area during the day and improve safety for motorists and pedestrians after dark. 

In South Cobb, the county completed installation of the Mableton Town Square lighting where 30 new LED lights were installed to efficiently illuminate the new roads and the gathering space contained within the square.