New bridge to majorly ease access to North Point Mall by Black Friday

Encore Parkway Bridge (Photo: Becca Godwin)

Encore Parkway Bridge (Photo: Becca Godwin)

When a nearly 50-year-old bridge in Alpharetta was closed in January, drivers in the area lost a quick and vital way to get from one side of Ga. 400 to the other.

Fortunately, the wait to drive on the new, improved and widened Encore Parkway Bridge is almost over.

The bridge will open to vehicular traffic Nov. 23, the North Fulton Community Improvement District (CID) and the city of Alpharetta announced today. 

In the short-term, the reopening of the bridge will cut down driving time dramatically for those who plan to do holiday shopping in the area. In fact, crews sometimes worked around the clock to get the structure open for drivers by Black Friday.

In the long-term, the bridge, which will have dedicated bicycle lanes, sidewalks and a landscaped median, will offer a foot traffic route for pedestrians who don't want to drive to nearby attractions.

The overpass is a portion of the $17.9 million Encore Parkway Corridor Project. It will create an east-west connection from the Big Creek Greenway, which could theoretically reach the Atlanta BeltLine one day, to the Westside Parkway corridor and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre — which sees more than 200,000 guests a year.

Construction on Encore Parkway Bridge. (Photo: Becca Godwin)

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Those involved with the project said this will not be a standard government-issued bridge, with hand-painted stone, a decorative fence and 49 Nuttal oak trees from Oglethorpe County.  See renderings of the bridge here. 

While the new roadway is still two lanes, the median could be removed to make it four lanes, were demand to arise. The bridge was also designed to accommodate any future widening of Ga. 400 or potential MARTA expansion.

The project is jointly funded by five partners: the North Fulton CID, the city of Alpharetta, Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

The project, which was initiated in 2007, is scheduled to run through July 6.

The original Encore Parkway Bridge was built in 1969. (Photo courtesy of North Fulton Community Improvement District)

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