• Atlanta

Live, Work and Play Ball: How the Braves Sparked Infrastructure Improvements in Cobb County

By Chad Koenig, Senior Director, Office Tenant Representation

Traffic. An unavoidable topic in Atlanta, but maybe one of the most important items the region needs to keep addressing, especially as Metro Atlanta continues to develop.

One submarket that has done a tremendous job improving its infrastructure is Cumberland, home of the Atlanta Braves. Cobb County, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) started laying the foundation for infrastructure improvements years before the Braves signed on to build a live, work and play ball stadium in the area, but the announcement jumpstarted the plans.

Under a deadline, traffic studies were conducted, and the public was involved in the planning process. Because Cobb County had planned early, they were able to create and execute a traffic plan for the new stadium in a timely manner. After years of construction and planning, traffic flowing in and out of the stadium and surrounding area on game days proved to be easy to navigate and considered a success.

“The infrastructure improvements we have been able to make and the projects that are in the works are the result of a tremendous partnership,” said Malaika Rivers, Executive Director of the Cumberland CID. “Cobb County, the DOT and CID really came together to create a plan that would set the Cumberland market up for a tremendous amount of future growth.”

In 2017, five major infrastructure projects were completed, including:

  • Circle 75 at Herodian Way: Installation of new traffic signals and a left turn lane
  • Windy Hill Corridor – Diverging Diamond Interchange: Increased efficiency by 20 to 30 percent by negating a car’s need to make left-hand turns to access the interstate
  • Cumberland Boulevard: Road widening to include an additional turn lane to the westbound side heading toward Interstate 285 as well as two dedicated turn lanes into Cumberland Parkway
  • SunTrust Park Pedestrian Bridge: Construction of a pedestrian bridge to connect SunTrust Park across I-285 to the adjacent Galleria Office Park
  • Cobb Parkway at Interstate 285/Spring Road and Circle 75: Operational improvements including widening the existing lane, lengthening the turn lane and building a barrier to separate the turn lane from the off ramp

Additionally, three more projects are slated to deliver in 2018, including:

  • Northwest Corridor: Addition of 29.7 miles of reversible toll lanes along Interstate 75 from Akers Mill Road to Hickory Grove Road, and along Interstate 575 from Interstate 75 to Sixes Road
  • Cobb Parkway at Windy Hill: Addition of dual left-turn lane and que jumper lanes for transit vehicles on north and south legs of Cobb Parkway, lengthening of existing dual left-turn lanes, addition of a right-turn lane on Windy Hill Road’s west leg, addition of a third northbound lane on Cobb Parkway at Terrell Mill Road
  • Interstate North Parkway at Interstate North Circle: Realignment of Interstate Parkway at Interstate North Circle to facilitate traffic onto the Circle rather than the Parkway in order to shift traffic away from SunTrust Park and pedestrian traffic

The Cumberland CID, founded in 1988 as Georgia’s first CID, has made 32 road improvements in the past 30 years and will realize $4 billion in private and public investments by the end of 2018. With the population growth in Cumberland expected to continue to increase over the next decade, traffic remains a topic of interest, but these improvements should help.

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