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Debut of Skip Spann Connector, First Lighted Bridge in Cobb County

April 26, 2016

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Through a well-coordinated partnership between Cobb County Department of Transportation(CCDOT), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Kennesaw State University (KSU), and Town Center Community Improvement District (TCCID), Cobb County will officially debut its first lighted bridge, tomorrow, April 27. The 416-foot long bridge spans I-75just north of Chastain Road in Kennesaw and is part of the Skip Spann Connector, a community improvement project that will increase access to Kennesaw State University and other local destinations,improving connectivity and visibility for the area.

Jim Wilgus, Interim Cobb County DOT stated, Not only is this the first lighted bridge in Cobb County, this project will beautifies road sections, increases safety for pedestrians and bikers and is expected to reduce traffic congestion at the I-75 and Chastain Road interchange by nearly 20 percent.KSU bridge 2
In addition to the lighted bridge, theSkip Spann Connector project includes four lanes of new connecting roadway and 11.5-foot-wide sidewalks, bike lanes, benches, planters and pedestrian lights on both sides of the bridge (refer to Bridge Specifications for data).
It also realigns TownPark Lane and adds a roundabout at the intersection of and TownPark Lane and Busbee Drive.
The project is named for Thomas E. Skip Spann, founding member of the TCCID, who inspired change and growth in the county and state and served on its Board of Directors until his passing in August 2012. While paying tribute to one of Cobb County’s past leaders, the project also embraces the youth of its future. In another first for the area, the bridge was designed by the winners of a collaborative Cobb County college student competition and incorporates a standout, iconic design that reflects the local community.
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Ceremony commemorates bridge namesake and historic partnership
At a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony held on the bridge last night, leaders from around the county and state gathered to honor Skip Spann, as well as the cooperative effort that led to the project’s success. Mason Zimmerman, Chairman of the Town Center CID, remembered the many accomplishments of Skip Spann at the event. His widow, Mrs. Ilyene Spann, flipped the switch that turned on the beautifully lit bridge, the first of its kind in the county.
We are thrilled to officially open this bridge in Skip Spann’s honor, said Tracy Rathbone, Executive Director, Town Center CID. Skip’s vision, unyielding dedication and contributions helped to shape the Town Center and KSU community into what it is today and will improve the quality of life for Cobb County residents for future generations.
The completion of the bridge in record time is only one indication of its success.
The historic and collaborative partnership of the Town Center CID, Kennesaw State University, CDOT, GDOT and the Governor’s office made the resources for the project possible, enabling safer and less congested passage for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Tim Lee, Cobb County Chairman, said, “The Skip Spann bridge is the shining result of a truly successful, proactive partnership between Cobb County DOT, KSU, GDOT, and the Town Center CID, that will give citizens better and safer access to Town Center at Cobb, KSU and other local destinations.”
Unique design created by collaborative Cobb university student effort
In 2010, Cobb County Department of Transportation hosted a bridge design competition with students from Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC), Kennesaw State University (KSU) and Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU). Teams were comprised of a student from each school. Team 5, consisting 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 and Little Kennesaw Mountains. It is this iconic railing that incorporates rope lighting to beautifully light the bridge, making it visible for several miles along I-75.
Dr. Dan Papp, President, Kennesaw State University, said “KSU students will now have a safer and easier commute to classes as a result of this beautiful bridge. I am also incredibly proud of the student’s creative design contribution that showcases the iconic shape of the Kennesaw Mountains and the KSU logo.”
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 University, $5 million from CDOT and $10.6 million from GDOT.
SKIP SPANN CONNECTOR BRIDGE SPECIFICATIONS
BRIDGE LENGTH: 416 feet
BRIDGE WIDTH: 107 feet 8 inches
BRIDGE INCLUDES:
  • 11½ foot wide sidewalks on each side
  • Benches within the sidewalk areas mounted into the side walls
  • Pedestrian lighting along the bridge sidewalks
  • Bike lanes on each side of the bridge adjacent to the vehicular lanes
  • Concrete landscape planters separating pedestrians from the vehicular travel lanes
  • Two vehicular lanes on each side for a total of four lanes of traffic
  • Rope lighting along the top of the upper fence rail designed to reflect the iconic twin peaks of Kennesaw and Little Kennesaw Mountains
  • Raised concrete median separating opposing vehicular travel lanes
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