• Cobb DOT will be ready if Braves move

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh


    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Cobb County transportation directors said they have projects in the pipeline that will address traffic concerns surrounding the proposed stadium site.

    From Interstate 75 to Highway 41, the Cobb County Department of Transportation calls them opportunities, not challenges.

    "You do have a lot of different places to access this area, and that will serve us well in terms of ultimately moving traffic around," said Faye DiMassimo, director of the Cobb DOT.

    DiMassimo is referring to moving Cobb County commuter traffic around the traffic headed to the proposed site of a new Braves stadium at Windy Ridge Parkway and Circle 75.

    "We have a number of major investments already underway in the Cumberland area. We have a number of projects that are about to enter into further stages in the development," she said.

    DiMassimo pointed to a diverging diamond planned for Windy Hill Road at I-75 set to open in 2017. There's the state's northwest corridor project, which will add express lanes to I-75.

    And, Dimassimo said, for two years the county has been studying ways to improve Highway 41.

    "We don't know the price tag on what taxpayers are going to be putting in on the stadium, let alone what the infrastructure investment will be," said Brett Bittner, president of the Cobb Libertarian party.

    Bittner said many of the improvements sound good until you consider who's paying for them, a big unknown.

    Another proposal on the table is for bus rapid transit. The first phase of that is estimated to cost $497 million and has yet to be funded.

    "Taxpayers are going to be taking a pretty big risk. And unfortunately we haven't had a say in this," Bittner said.

    Cobb County DOT said it will be crucial to ensure its projects are on time, on schedule, and on budget.

    The Atlanta mayor threw out another transportation option he said is a must for this project to work in Cobb County, suggesting the county's plan was missing something.

    "Those folks in Bartow County and Cherokee County, if we don't have a light-rail solution for them, that's going to add connectivity to this city. You know that corridor," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

    Cobb County's GOP issued a statement saying it wants no part of light rail nor does it want Cobb taxpayers on the hook.

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