The two cities had been at stalemate on the issue because Johns Creek citizens wanted the light but the intersection is within Roswell city limits, and Roswell didn’t want to pay for it.
Johns Creek opted to go it alone. But when that city began the light installation, Roswell revoked the construction permit.
“Their intention was to install the signal without doing the road improvements” that Roswell required before the signal went in, Roswell Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak said in February 2013. “The permit was pulled, and the issue with the permit was that there was a definite plan they were straying from,” Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said last week.
Wood and his counterpart in Johns Creek, Mike Bodker, had originally discussed the signal proposal and taken it to their respective councils for ratification. When Roswell yanked the permit, it caused a kerfuffle on the Johns Creek council that resulted in a frigid atmosphere for any further inter-city cooperation.
“”Let’s just say that communication was not good,” Wood said. The new memo of understanding on the Brumbelow traffic light is little changed from the original. Johns Creek will pay for the light and complete the road improvements as first planned.
Those improvements include a southbound turn lane on Nesbit Ferry Road, providing a crosswalk across Nesbit Ferry Road and wheelchair ramps on both sides of the road as well as a sidewalk on the west side of the road from the crosswalk to the apartment driveway south of the main intersection. Johns Creek also will widen Brumbelow Road to provide a two lane west bound approach for a left turn lane and a right turn lane.
Johns Creek will pay the monthly power bill for the light and all other maintenance costs. That city also will be responsible for remedying any signal malfunction for one year after the light goes into operation, after which time Roswell will assume that responsibility. Those terms were unacceptable to the previous Johns Creek city council, but some new council members were seated in the last election and it appears to have spurred a change of heart on acceptance of the agreement.
“They wanted to move forward with a light, but that was a very low profile for Roswell, so that’s why they’re paying for it,” Wood said. The new spirit of cooperation between the cities could open the door for other joint road projects. “What has gone unsaid is that both parties agree this would be an appropriate location for a roundabout, which would work here. “But Johns Creek doesn’t have the money, Roswell doesn’t want to put a roundabout in alone, so we can apply for some money to do it from the state. But that’s four or five years off.”