Replacement bridge across Chattahoochee River revives old zoning case

By David Pendered

The state has signed a contract to replace the bridge on U.S. 41 across the Chattahoochee River, and the project has renewed issues related to the Nature Conservancy’s purchase of riverside land almost 40 years ago.

The conservancy in the early 1970s purchased 16 acres in a negotiation that also allowed construction of an apartment complex with 427 homes to be built on the remainder of land held by developers Julian LeCraw and Tom Towles.

This past May, Cobb County took almost a half-acre of the Columns at River Parkway property to allow for the bridge replacement project.

The current owner wanted the county to reauthorize the zoning for the 427 units, which was reaffirmed in 1981. The owner, CRP-2 Holdings Vinings, LLC simply wants to ensure that all the development rights now associated with the land will continue even after the county has taken the property, according to legal papers filed by the owner’s lawyer, Dillard and Galloway, LLC.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved the request at its Oct. 18 zoning hearing.

With that matter cleared up, attention now turns to the replacement of the bridge.

The state Department of Transportation on Monday announced that the letting of a contract for $12.6 million to replace the bridge between Cobb and Fulton counties. The four-lane bridge was built in 1935 and serves as a major connector for traffic that flows parallel to I-75.

The completion date for the new bridge is set for December 2014, according to GDOT. Its length will be just over a half mile.

The new bridge will be a divided, six-lane span that is to include a multi-purpose trail and a sidewalk, according to GDOT. The work also includes installation of CCTV and video detection systems.

E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. of Snellville was the low bid and won the project, according to GDOT.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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