Work Progressing on Pedestrian Bridge Over I-285 to Braves Stadium
Construction of the bridge began in June, and Jim Wilgus , Cobb's director of transportation, said the county is working to have the bridge operational by first pitch at the new stadium, scheduled for April 14 against the San Diego Padres .
However, Wilgus said the bridge will not be totally complete until the summer.
The bridge is designed to begin at a parking deck adjacent to the Cobb Galleria with two lanes: one for pedestrians and bikes and the other for a shuttle vehicle. After crossing I-285 , the shuttle lane of the 32-foot-wide bridge will end at Circle 75 Parkway while the pedestrian lane will cross that road and connect to a parking deck in the Braves' mixed-use development next-door to the ballpark.
In December, construction crews completed the installation of the 28 metal beams that cross the interstate and form the structural basis for the bridge, Wilgus said.
"We are very pleased with the progress that the contractor has made this week with the setting of the beams. It is exciting to see the progress," Wilgus said.
There are nine beams still to be installed on the portion of the bridge that crosses Galleria Drive , Wilgus said, but 28 of the 37 beams required for this section have been set as of Wednesday.
To fund construction of the bridge, the county plans to use about $5 million given by the Cumberland Community Improvement District , about $4.5 million in federal grants, $380,000 from the Atlanta Braves and about $159,000 from a special taxing district in Cumberland created to help fund the new Braves stadium's construction, according to county documents.
The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority , which owns and operates the Galleria, has pledged $500,000 to add an elevator to the end of the bridge on the south side of I-285 . This addition delayed the project, but the Cumberland CID agreed to contribute an additional $450,000 on last month to make sure the bridge is open in time for the first game at the Braves' new ballpark in April.
Construction costs for the bridge now total about $11 million , a figure that does not include the costs of designing the bridge, relocating utilities around the bridge site or obtaining the land necessary for the bridge.
The bridge project has been the subject of controversy since it was announced. The county faced a legal challenges in its efforts to obtain the right of way necessary for the bridge project, and a still-pending lawsuit is contesting the county's use of about $56,000 in funds from its special 1 percent sales tax to relocate utility lines around the construction site.