The Cumberland CID Board recently approved the hiring of Moreland Altobelli for the design of a new interchange at Windy Hill Rd. and I-75. The interchange is scheduled for major renovations should the July 31st Regional Transportation Referendum be passed. Tad Leithead, Chairman of the Cumberland CID, said “This work needs to be done either way, I think the money is well spent irrespective of what happens on July 31 because we’ll have a concept that we all agree on.” No matter what final design is chosen, the result will be more efficient management of traffic at the interchange, according to Faye DiMassimo, Director of Cobb Department of Transportation.
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CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Community Improvement District’s board agreed to pay Roswell-based Moreland Altobelli $84,954 to design a proposal for a new interchange at Windy Hill Road and Interstate 75 on Thursday.
The interchange is set to undergo a major renovation if voters approve the July 31 transportation referendum, raising the sales tax by 1 percent for the next 10 years.
A $47 million line item is earmarked in the Transportation Investment Act’s referendum for the interchange project, with another $30 million in federal funds secured to go along with it if the tax hike is approved, said Faye DiMassimo, director of the Cobb Department of Transportation.
“The federal funds are committed contingent on the TIA,” DiMassimo said.
CID Chairman Tad Leithead said the redesign is needed even if the TIA doesn’t pass.
“This work needs to be done either way,” Leithead said. “I think the money is well spent irrespective of what happens on July 31 because we’ll have a concept that we all agree on.”
Leithead said there are a number of proposals for that interchange, including widening the existing bridge, replacing the bridge and creating two bridges.
DiMassimo said whatever the final design is, it will move traffic more efficiently.
The chosen design must also be compatible with the proposed reversible toll lane project along Interstates 75 and 575, Leithead said.
A timeline on when the reversible lane project, estimated to cost between $700 million and $900 million, will be built may be released in the next few weeks, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said. Details on how it will be funded have not been finalized.
Cumberland CID executive director Malaika Rivers said the $84,954 would be the first part of a two-part study process, giving the CID a design from “the 30,000-foot level” as well as a traffic analysis.
Assuming the transportation referendum is approved, the board would then pay another $88,258 to complete the technical documents required by the federal government.
But even if voters pass the referendum, the interchange project is years away, not slated for construction until 2020-22, DiMassimo said.
DiMassimo said she appreciated the CID board taking the initiative to fund the study, though.
“We always appreciate the partnership of the CIDs and other partners, our cities and so forth to help accomplish the work that’s needed for us to be able to bring these projects forward and implement them,” she said.