Bridges over Georgia 400, preliminary fiscal year 2020-21 budget among discussion at Alpharetta City Council meeting April 20

Alpharetta City Council members discussed the impact on the city's budget due to COVID-19 as well as showed renderings of future bridge construction over Georgia 400. (Screenshot via Zoom Meetings)
Alpharetta City Council members discussed the effects on the city's budget due to COVID-19 as well as showing renderings of future bridge construction over the Georgia 400. (Screenshot via Zoom Meetings)

Alpharetta City Council members discussed the effects on the city's budget due to COVID-19 as well as showing renderings of future bridge construction over the Georgia 400. (Screenshot via Zoom Meetings)

Renderings for replacing the existing bridges at Kimball Bridge and Webb Bridge roads over Georgia 400, as well as renderings of the new bridge over GA 400 at the Tradewinds interchange—formerly known as Webb Plus—were presented at the Alpharetta City Council meeting April 20 during the workshop portion of the meeting. During a workshop, items are discussed but cannot be voted on.

This project is part of the Georgia Department of Transportation's GA 400 Express Lanes Project, which will add optional, tolled express lanes from the North Springs MARTA station to McFarland Parkway in Alpharetta. GDOT's project is not expected to begin construction until 2022.

Eric Bosman, the vice president of engineering and design firm Kimley-Horn and Associates, said GDOT's preliminary design shows basic 5-foot sidewalks; however, he said they could potentially make the sidewalks wider with a barrier wall between travel lanes and sidewalks to allow pedestrians to have separation between themselves and the cars.

Cost estimates for all three bridges total about $3.7 million, Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz said during the workshop.

Additionally, preliminary discussions on the city's fiscal year 2020-21 budget and the effect the coronavirus has had on the budget continued in the April 20 workshop. At the April 6 meeting, council members and Finance Director Tom Harris discussed multiple options for balancing the anticipated $3.38 million deficit—including removing 2020 and 2021 merit raises, keeping currently-frozen open positions frozen though 2021, and adjusting discretionary budget and capital funds—but nothing was solidified during the April 20 meeting.

Harris said he is still working with department leaders to determine the best course of action for the FY 2020-21 budget. All council members said they would prefer to hold any funds from current capital projects that have not yet been committed or projects that have not been designed and move those monies into the unallocated category for use in FY 2020-21.

"We should take a very conservative approach going into next year," Council Member Karen Richard said. "I think we're going to need it."

To view all the renderings for the bridges, see below:

By Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the reporter for north Houston's Tomball/Magnolia edition in September 2018, moving to Alpharetta in January 2020 after a promotion to be the editor of the Alpharetta/Milton edition, which is Community Impact's first market in Georgia.


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