A bicycle bridge might be built by 2

Roswell asks neighbor Sandy Springs to help fund new project

A literal connection between Sandy Springs and Roswell is in the works, much to the delight of cyclists in both north Fulton County cities.

Roswell is asking its neighbor to the south to help fund a new 12-foot-wide bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. It would be built alongside the existing Roswell Road span over the Chattahoochee River.

Roswell already has a $3 million federal earmark for the project. Officials there want Sandy Springs to split the estimated $700,000 local match in half to get the bridge done.

“We got 308 signatures of support in less than seven days,” said Joe Seconder, a Sandy Springs resident and board member of the Georgia Bicycle Alliance. “This is an exciting opportunity to a lot of people.”

Plans for any multiuse bridge are still in the early stages. Roswell’s transportation director, who presented the plan to Sandy Springs, said his City Council must still formally approve the project. Only then can the cities negotiate an agreement on items such as costs.

“Our position is that both cities benefit equally, so it’s fair to split it,” Steve Acenbrak said.

Officials in Sandy Springs —while open to the bridge concept — see it differently. With only 14 percent of the proposed project in their city, council members have been skeptical about how much they will pay.

Mayor Eva Galambos and some council members have asked for a more detailed plan about the bridge before committing further.

Preliminary plans call for the bridge to be built on the western side of the existing bridge. The bridge would link to sidewalks on the Sandy Springs side and connect to existing trails in parks on Azalea Drive and Riverside Road in Roswell.

That idea alone is enough to garner some support from Sandy Springs.

“What I like about this is connecting to Morgan Falls and Island Ford,” councilwoman Dianne Fries said of two Sandy Springs parks. “The opportunity is in front of us.”

Acenbrak said Roswell is expected to approve the plan later this month.

Once the cities are able to reach a deal on costs and other details, Roswell will bid for a design consultant to work on engineering and environmental concerns. It will be at least two years from the start of design before construction can begin.