The Roswell City Council approved moving forward with plans to connect Roswell and Sandy Springs via a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River at its meeting Monday night.
Roswell and Sandy Springs will split responsibility for 10 percent – or $50,000 each – of the $500,000 price tag for this first design phase of the process to “rehabilitate” the bridge between the two cities to include alternative transportations methods. Funding for the remaining $400,000 of this phase will come from specially earmarked federal funds.
After putting out a solicitation for engineering firms interested in taking on the project, the city sorted through 15 potential firms to settle upon Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc.
“They were the most qualified firm for the project,” said Transportation Department Director Steve Acenbrak.
No official design for the new bridge has been created yet, said Acenbrak. However, “it’s almost certain” it won’t be connected to the current Roswell Road bridge. Instead, residents can expect the pedestrian/cyclist bridge to be some distance away from the current bridge, “either standing on its own structure or supported by its own cables,” he said.
Acenbrak said that the design will stand up to the high standards of the city, which recently won an award for the new bridge on Oxbo Road.
“We will formally tell [the engineering firm] that we expect an award-winning bridge that will be a highlight,and a very nice [addition] for citizens,” he said.
Local resident Janet Russell told council that while she supported the new bridge in theory, she was “appalled” at the cost of the design alone.
“It’s called ‘trickle down economics,’ isn’t it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s state, local, federal or county, the bottom line is we’re all paying for it. And I’m appalled that we’re paying $500,000 for a design of a bridge.”
Russell also encouraged the city to make sure the new bridge is lighted and connects to pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.
Acenbrak assured the council that the bridge would connect to pedestrian walkways and compliment the future of the historic corridor.
Design is expected to take about two years and construction will take an additional year to complete, he told Roswell Patch.