August 08, 2019
Realizing a successful infrastructure project requires closely synchronized plans and participation throughout the project lifecycle. Thanks to dedicated teamwork, communications, and coordination from three separate entities, the recently completed Kimball Bridge Road widening project
concluded with immediate benefits for a highly-traveled thoroughfare.
Initial planning for the project began in 2013 when the city of Johns Creek teamed with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
to address the congestion and safety of a primary corridor spanning the two cities.
The cities worked with GDOT to develop the project, which not only helps reduce bottlenecks by widening Kimball Bridge Road from two to four lanes but improves flow through the area by providing a more expedient connection between State Bridge Road and Jones Bridge Road.
In addition to addressing congestion concerns, the 1.25-mile project also fostered the addition of turn lanes, lighting, beautification and pedestrian trails. These new amenities create a noticeable effect along the state route which also serves as a primary entry point to both cities.
“The widening from two to four lanes, essentially eliminates a bottleneck at either end of the project,” said City of Johns Creek Public Works Director Lynette Baker. “GDOT was also instrumental in the project’s funding as federal and state grants helped with project costs which the cities of Johns Creek and Alpharetta could not have shouldered alone.”
The City of Johns Creek Public Works department managed the work along the project corridor. Throughout the project, from concept to completion, the city and GDOT were actively involved and coordinated on all aspects of project planning, sequencing, status, and reporting. The project was primarily funded by GDOT with State and Federal dollars and managed by the city through local government agreements. The project’s total cost was approximately $13 million.
During the project, crews were able to identify and overcome several challenges including unsuitable soils which required additional foundation backfill material, revisions to wall types, and additional materials for compaction and leveling. Many of the utilities along the corridor needed to be moved or adjusted and grading challenges near a power distribution site also required adjustments, but none of the challenges ever lessened the resolve of the project moving forward.
The cities and GDOT also took great care to implement safety and impact solutions for the benefit of adjacent subdivisions and neighborhoods. To meet these needs design changes were initiated and additional guardrails were added to the project to meet code requirements along the state route.
“By expanding the road to four lanes, the corridor now carries additional capacity which was an issue to the 30,000 vehicles which pass through the one and a quarter mile segment on a daily basis,” said Chris Haggard, Assistant Public Works Director. “Drivers not only have a more expedient connection between State Bridge and Jones Bridge roads but new center left-turn lanes and deceleration lanes at subdivision entrances will pull traffic out of the through-lanes, allowing traffic to flow more smoothly.”
Drivers aren’t the only beneficiaries of the newly completed project. Pedestrians can now enjoy added access via the newly installed 10-foot-wide trails on each side of the road which will provide safety improvements along with extended connectivity between sidewalks and trails on Jones Bridge Road to Alpharetta’s trail network.
The project ribbon cutting took place on Tuesday August 6, 2019. While the celebrated project completion marks an end to the coordinated involvement of the three different entities working together along the route, the cities of Johns Creek and Alpharetta along with GDOT have future opportunities to continue successful collaboration on various TSPLOST projects being initiated over the next several years in both communities.
“This project is a prime example of how the appropriate involvement, coordination and clear communication practices between all three agencies helped to produce a positive outcome and an essential improvement for the area,” said Baker. “We look forward to continued collaboration and teamwork with our neighboring cities and with GDOT.”