Road Projects on Powder Springs-Lithia Springs TSPLOST List
Widening C. H. James Parkway and completing the Windy Hill-Macland Road corridor top southwest Cobb wish list.
Widening C. H. James Parkway to six lanes at a cost of nearly $45 million and completion and upgrade of the Windy Hill-Macland Road corridor at a cost of about $200 million are two projects unveiled Monday as part of a $3.2 billion wish list.
The cost of those plans, however, is dwarfed by a mammoth $2 billion high-capacity transit system from Acworth to Midtown Atlanta. The projects are among a list of proposed projects Cobb County transportation officials hope to fund should a regional sales tax meet with the approval of voters in the summer of 2012.
The light rail system would generally run along U.S. 41 from Acworth through Marietta and into the Cumberland district and then onwards to the MARTA Arts Center Station.
The county is currently conducting an alternatives analysis, a federally required study to explore various modes of traffic and routes. Although the county leans toward light rail, it is also studying bus rapid transit along Interstate 75, for example.
Other major projects:
- a $23.4 million trails project to connect the Chattahoochee River trail system with that of Kennesaw Mountain,
- a $230 million six-lane widening project of Cobb Parkway from Paces Mill Road to North Marietta Parkway,
- $33.9 million to replace buses for Cobb Community Transit.
The projects would be funded by a Regional Sales Tax proposal–also nicknamed TSPLOST–that stems from the Georgia Transportation Investment Act of 2010, which created 12 regions across Georgia and empowered each of them to collect funding for transportation projects through a 1 percent sales tax. Each region may hold an election during the summer of 2012 to allow residents to vote on a slate of projects that would be funded with 10 years of the sales tax.
Cobb County is part of the Atlanta Regional Roundtable which includes Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as their municipalities.
If passed, the tax could generate between $7 billion and $8 billion in revenue for the 10-county region through 2022. The money would be spent on such project categories as roadway capital, roadway and bridge maintenance, safety and traffic operations, freight and logistics, aviation, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, transit capital and transit operations and maintenance.
The county has a March 30 deadline to submit its list of desired projects to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Larry Stokes Jr., a Cobb transportation planner, said the project list highlights some of the most critical and needed transportation innovations and improvements for the county over the next 10 years.
Asked if Cobb residents might be “SPLOST-out” after the recent countywide vote, Stokes said: “If you want these improvements, you want to pass it.”
“Cobb County residents did us a favor and passed the SPLOST,” he said. “That stage has passed. Now the next stage is the region.”
Are you ready for a regional SPLOST? What do you think of the proposed projects? Tell us in the comments.