The Department will host Public Information Meetings (PIM) to provide and gather information from the general public on the recommended concept. A Public Hearing (same format as the PIM) will be advertised for availability if needed. Individual neighborhood meetings may be scheduled on an as-needed basis, but the PIM is always the best source of information.
A property owners’ meeting is held by the Office of Right of Way at the time when right of way acquisition is about to begin (no sooner than FY 2004). All property owners having property to be acquired for the project are notified of a meeting at which the process of acquisition is explained. Those properties will be identified in the approved right of way plans.
The Department has had conceptual designs for this corridor since the late 80’s. However, since the roads were not on the State Route System, the Department could not advance beyond recommending a concept without local government backing (i.e., buying right of way, etc.). It was up to the local governments (Cobb and Fulton Counties) to initiate further action. As you know, Cobb County moved forward with improvements to their section with County funds and minimal State Funds. Fulton County elected to concentrate on other transportation priorities. Other studies were initiated in a joint effort between the Counties, but no resolution was ever adopted. Therefore for 15 years, the Department’s only involvement was minimal oversight.
In 1996, GDOT Commissioner Shackelford took Johnson Ferry Road and Abernathy Road into the State Route system. However, funding was not identified at the time. Funding amounts with designated years for each project must be a part of the regional plan submitted by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to Federal Highway Department every three years before GDOT can move forward with a project. In 2001, a line was added to the Federal Transportation bill that made Johnson Ferry Road/Abernathy Road a priority. The bill did not allocate any money. The ARC then designated right of way and construction funding with a designated year so that the project could move forward.
Therefore, the Department, using regional public input, will make the decisions necessary to move the project into construction.
The Department is charged with meeting the needs of the region/state as well as individual communities. This charge requires many alternatives to be considered. Evaluations are made to provide the best overall solution to meet those needs. The Department cannot dismiss either a 4- or a 6-lane facility from Cobb County to Abernathy Road as an alternate without a full evaluation. Justification of the construction project cannot be made if no measurable improvements are made from its existing state in terms of vehicle delay and/or roadway safety and operations.
The environmental document assesses whether the project meets the project need and purpose, which includes moving people into and through the corridor safely and efficiently while minimizing community affects. Comparisons are made to evaluate which alternate best serves the region and the community’s quality of life. If the roadway has traffic congestion most of the day, the quality of life for all would be compromised, therefore not meeting the need and purpose.
Traffic signals will have to be coordinated together by the City of Sandy Springs and Cobb County. Traffic signals will be installed/replaced at the following intersections:
Johnson Ferry and River Valley
Johnson Ferry and Abernathy;
Brandon Mill and Johnson Ferry/Abernathy;
"In-town” Johnson Ferry and Johnson Ferry /Abernathy?
Will Wright Road/Long Acres be cul-de-sac as it is shown in previous plans? Will there be a dedicated turn lane from Johnson Ferry to Riverside Drive? (f.) Where will median "cuts" be provided to assure safe turning into/out of residential neighborhoods?
Specific design configurations (alternatives) will be presented for consideration at the October 8, 2002 CAC meeting. These alternatives meet the needs shown in the traffic study. The CAC will evaluate the alternatives and provide a recommendation to the Department. The Department will evaluate that recommendation and move forward with the preliminary design.
Impacts to properties along the corridor are approximate until the preliminary design plans, environmental process, and right of way plans are complete. We are currently in the first phase of plan development (at least a year away from design plans). Once plans are approved the Office of Right of Way will begin the appraisal process.
Early acquisition? - Details for obtaining property early needs to be presented to those homeowners who are having either health problems or job changes and are finding selling on their own almost impossible.
Requests in writing presenting a hardship case to purchase the right of way can be submitted to the Department at any time. However, without an approved environmental document, property cannot be acquired using federal funds. Exceptions are made, however, and each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The County and the community through its planning process has identified and adopted Johnson Ferry Road and Abernathy Road as a bicycle and pedestrian corridor. The CAC and the Department are charged with implementing that plan. The Department can only use State funds on facilities that are part of a roadway. Therefore, bike lanes were added to the concept. Eventually a continuous bike lane will be constructed from the Sandy Springs MARTA Station to the Chattahoochee River National Park.
8-foot-wide sidewalks are also being proposed due to the community comments requesting a safe pedestrian corridor and so that “casual” bicyclists that do not feel comfortable using the bike lanes can more easily use the sidewalk. The sidewalk width does not increase the required shoulder width needed to build and maintain the roadway.
Privacy Notice |
©2012 Georgia Department of Transportation. All Rights Reserved
Best Viewed with Internet Explorer 8 32bit