The structure, which would be constructed over the Chattahoochee River at Ga. 9, was the focal point of last week’s public information open house at City Hall in Sandy Springs.
“About a year ago, much of the same information you see here was presented and the process [shifted] into early concept studies,” said William Martin, an official with the capital improvements sector of Sandy Springs Public Works. “This is the result of the concept report. … It’s been approved and we’ve still got further review and approvals to go.”
The multi-use trail bridge would lie parallel to the east side of the Ga. 9 roadway bridge in Fulton County between Roswell and Sandy Springs. The northern terminus of the trail would end at Riverside Drive; the southern terminus at Roberts Drive.
The proposed bridge — officially a Georgia Department of Transportation project — next heads for an environmental assessment.
“[The open house] is the public involvement process as part of NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act], which is the process we followed because there’s federal funds involved,” said Josh Earhart, the project’s environmental planner and also a NEPA specialist for Edwards-Pitman Environmental Inc. “The preliminary design’s been completed and we’re looking at an approved environmental document in the spring of 2016.”
The illustrated displays and plans featured last week will be available for review through Nov. 8 at the Roswell and Sandy Spring city halls.
Residents also have until then to send in written comments about the project. Comments can also be made online at the GDOT website, www.dot.ga.gov.
“In general, public involvement has been very favorable — not much opposition — so, if there were more we might consider coming out again … but so far there’s been a lot of support for the project,” said Earhart.
Janet Russell, who has lived within a mile of the proposed bridge site for the past 40 years, acknowledged having mixed feelings about the looming structure — specifically, its aesthetics.
“It’s an ugly bridge,” she said. “It’s unattractive. It’s utilitarian. It’ll do the job … but wouldn’t it be nice if we did something extraordinary, instead of just more mediocrity?”
The price tag of erecting the bridge is yet to be determined.
“We had an adjustment with the bridge alignment and ran into some utility issues they had to resolve, so the construction costs are still being calculated at this point,” Earhart said.