Tucker, GA — An agreement with Tucker Summit CID could bring major changes to the Mountain Industrial Boulevard corridor.
At Tucker City Council meeting on Sept. 13, City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt detailed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to redesign Mountain Industrial Boulevard at US-78. Proposed changes include realignment of on/off ramps at US-78, improvements to lighting and traffic signals, U-turn enhancements for tractor trailers and a median with landscaping between Greer Circle and Elmdale Drive. The IGA was approved unanimously.
“This will be the largest transportation project we’ve had since our inception,” said Hildebrandt.
The intersection at Mountain Industrial Boulevard at US-78 has the highest number of traffic accidents in the city, said Hildebrandt. Crash data shows nearly 1,000 accidents in a five-year period, resulting in 262 injuries at the intersection.
The area is a known location for unsheltered people. At a March 9 meeting, Tucker Summit CID board members discussed homeless people living under the bridge at US-78. Executive Director Emory Morsberger said the CID was working with DeKalb County Police Department and the city to remove six to eight people. Tucker City Council passed an Urban Camping Ordinance on March 8.
Sidewalks will be brought into compliance with the American Disability Act, but Larry Kaiser from Tucker Summit CID said sidewalks cannot be built onto the bridge without tearing it down.
“To improve the ability for a pedestrian to cross the bridge is not going to happen with this project. It just won’t happen, so everybody needs to understand that,” said Kaiser.
Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has agreed to fund up to $5.12 million. Tucker Summit CID received a grant from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank for $600,000 in engineering design.
If approved, the city will be responsible for $100,000 in utility costs, all right-of-way costs if necessary, and half of construction costs in excess of $5.12 million and engineering costs in excess of $600,000.
City Council unanimously approved a contract to hire Atlas Technical Consultants for engineering services in the amount of $698,860. The city of Tucker will pay $49,000 toward the total.
Construction would begin early 2024, said Kaiser.
In addition to the interchange project, Tucker Summit CID is proposing analysis for a Bus Rapid Transit Station, redevelopment of the northeast quadrant of the interchange and a one-way connection from Tucker Industrial Road to Mountain Industrial Boulevard. City Council will have to discuss and approve each future item.
In other transportation news, City Council voted 5-1 to award a $27,490 contract to Lagniappe Development Company for concrete pads, sidewalks and benches at seven Marta bus stops. The stops are at E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Juliette Road and Idlewood Road.
Councilmember Anne Lerner voted against the contract.
Lerner said, “I voted against the contract because MARTA does not maintain the bus stops nor empty trash receptacles unless they have enough ridership to warrant a shelter. Under this proposal, the City would provide the concrete pad and benches for the stops where MARTA would not provide a shelter, but we did not factor in how we would maintain these stops since we do not have a public works department. Without a plan for maintenance and sanitation pick-up, I felt it needed more long-term planning and discussion.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified a road. This story has been updated with the correct information.
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