On January 22, The Council and Cobb Advisory Committee hosted Cobb County DOT Director Faye DiMassimo. She addressed a capacity crowd with an update on the county’s ongoing transportation projects and future plans. Currently, the county is in the midst of implementing the 2011 SPLOST transportation projects. Among these, 72 projects have already been completed, 94 are being constructed, and 143 are in the engineering/design phase. The projected sales tax collection that will fund these projects is estimated to be $250 million, approximately half of the total SPLOST collection.
DiMassimo also highlighted key projects across many of the departments divisions. This included funding acquisition for McCollum Field’s new air traffic control tower. This project has been approved for local and FAA grant funding and will complement many other airport infrastructure projects such as the upcoming hangar expansion and international arrivals customs facility. The county has also completed a study discovering that scheduled air charter service has significant potential at McCollum Field. This service would cater to both business and leisure travelers seeking a more convenient alternative to Hartsfield-Jackson.
Another ongoing transportation project that DiMassimo discussed was the Connect Cobb study. This study has identified Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as a high-capacity transit alternative along the Cobb Parkway corridor and beyond connecting the KSU area to Midtown Atlanta. The study is currently undergoing environmental review, and pending the results, it could soon be available for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding. DiMassimo said this service would expand and improve Cobb Community Transit’s already existent and highly patronized route 10, which is the busiest in the system.
Lastly, DiMassimo updated the advisory committee on the county’s transportation plans involving the newly announced Braves stadium development. The Cobb DOT intends to implement a shuttle-style circulator that will serve much of the Cumberland CID area. Another upcoming project in this area is the improvement of the Windy Hill/285 interchange. A Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) will be constructed in time for the new Braves stadium and it is estimated to cost approximately $20 million, $57-80 million less than a complete overhaul of the interchange. A new pedestrian transit bridge is also in the planning stages and will connect both pedestrians and transit vehicles from the south side of I-285 near the Galleria, to the north side of I-285 near the future stadium site.
Other highlights included:
- Five-year update of the comprehensive transportation plan
- Recognition of the PEACH Roads environmental sustainability program
- Upcoming Skip Spann Connector project
- Upcoming South Barrett Reliever Phase 2 & 3 project
- Upcoming Floyd Road at Veterans Memorial Hwy project
- Upcoming Six Flags Drive pedestrian improvements project