Bridge over I-75
KENNESAW, Ga. (April 26, 2016) – Kennesaw State University’s students, faculty and…
Georgia (Apr 26, 2016) —
KENNESAW, Ga. (April 26, 2016) – Kennesaw State University’s students, faculty and staff now have improved access to, and egress from, campus, helping alleviate congestion on traffic-choked Chastain Road.
On April 25, a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the Skip Spann Connector was held on the bridge with much fanfare. Representatives from stakeholders Kennesaw State University, Cobb County DOT, Georgia DOT and the Town Center CID were on hand, along with 200 invited guests, for the celebration. At 8:11 p.m., Spann’s widow, Ilyene Spann, flipped the switch to turn on the beautifully lit bridge, the first of its kind in the county.
“KSU students will now have a safer and easier commute to classes as a result of this beautiful bridge,” said Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp. I am also incredibly proud of the students’ creative design contribution that showcases the iconic shape of the Kennesaw mountains and the KSU logo.”
The $17.8-million bridge consists of four lanes of new roadway over I-75 connecting Frey Road and Busbee Drive. It has an 11.5-foot-wide multi-use path and pedestrian lights on both sides of the bridge. It also realigns TownPark Lane, and adds a roundabout at the intersection of Busbee Drive and TownPark Lane.
“This is a bridge that represents 21st century transportation in Georgia,” said Georgia Department of Transportation board member Jeff Lewis. “At peak travel times, this bridge will reduce traffic on Chastain and Frey roads by 19 percent.”
The bridge opens to motor vehicle traffic Wednesday morning.
“This is one of the greatest events in recent Cobb County history,” said Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee. “This bridge honors a great public servant and is a testament to the leadership and can-do attitude of this community.”
In 2010, the Cobb County Department of Transportation hosted a bridge design competition with students from Kennesaw State, Chattahoochee Technical College and Southern Polytechnic State University. Teams were composed of a student from each school. In the end, the team of Donna Jones (KSU), Lewellyn Payne (CTC) and John Tufts (SPSU), won based on their unique design of a railing that reflected the iconic twin peaks of Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain. The railing incorporates rope lighting to light the bridge, making it visible for several miles along I-75.
The project is named for Thomas E. “Skip” Spann, founding member of the Town Center Community Improvement District, who inspired change and growth in the county and state, and served on its Board of Directors until his passing in August 2012. Spann also worked at Kennesaw State as a development officer for athletics and special projects.
“Skip has been a wonderful part of this university’s growth,” Papp said. “He played a major role in getting us to where we are today.”
Funding for the Skip Spann Connector was made possible by contributions from each of the four partners: $1.5 million from the Town Center CID; $700,000 from Kennesaw State; $5 million from Cobb County DOT; and $10.6 million from GDOT.
By: Jennifer Hafer
Photos by: David Caselli
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.