JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Residents of Johns Creek got the opportunity to engage with city leaders on the latest plans for traffic improvements along Jones Bridge Road, one of the city’s busiest arteries.
City staff presented project updates at a meeting April 1 at City Hall that was streamed online to provide greater access. The comment phase ends this week, and the City Council is expected to clear the way later this month to begin right of way acquisition for the project. Construction, which should run for up to two years, is not expected to begin until fall of 2020.
Jones Bridge Road lies on the west side of Johns Creek, running from Barnwell Road in the south to the northern most point of the city at McGinnis Ferry Road.
Plans call for widening the street from Waters Road north to State Bridge Road. The current two-lane stretch handles more than 14,500 vehicles a day, about 2,000 more than capacity. Other upgrades include providing pedestrian connectivity and added safety features.
Estimated cost for construction and upgrades is $11 million, and the project was identified as a top priority within the city’s transportation sales tax — or TSPLOST — budget.
Brian O’Connor, Johns Creek TSPLOST manager, said the typical section of the new roadway will include one travel lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane. A right-turn lane would also be added through most of the route to provide easy access to neighborhoods and businesses. Plans include a 5-foot sidewalk on one side of the roadway and a 10-foot trail on the other.
He said the City Council decided to proceed with a phased approach on capacity, keeping the roadway at two lanes, but improving flow by adding the turn lanes. If conditions warrant in the future, O’Connor said, the roadway could be restriped into a four-lane configuration with two travel lanes in each direction.
O’Connor said engineers responded to earlier concerns about entering and exiting neighborhoods by shortening median noses for left turns and lengthening the landing area for cars in the left-turn lanes.
Plans were also made to accommodate greater access to Dolvin Elementary School, just north of Buice Road, by providing more space for buses and cars queuing in the roadway. Working with Fulton County Schools, the city also moved the school’s driveways farther back from the intersection and added queuing lanes to relieve some of those backups.
To reduce traffic noise, the city calls for adding retaining walls, and there have been design additions to address stormwater runoff.
Plans do not call for any roundabouts.
One question raised at the forum involved whether plans called for adding bicycle lanes on the roadway. O’Connor said earlier public sentiment convinced city leaders to recommend allowing for bicycle traffic on the 10-foot pedestrian path and keep the roadway for motor vehicles.
Other residents cautioned that the city must pay special mind to eliminating any chance of increased stormwater runoff to residential areas.
O’Connor said there are a couple of retention ponds on the plans, and the city is also looking at other drainage options for stormwater along the route.