Sandy Springs City Council is backing designs for three replacement bridges over Ga. 400 that reflect the stacked-stone look of City Springs. 

The new bridges will be built at Roberts Drive, Pitts Road and Spalding Drive as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Managed Lanes project on Ga. 400. 

City Council has approved spending $5.5 million for enhancements to the three bridges. Enhancements discussed at a Sept.1 work session included wider pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes, turn lanes and decorative items such as rails and pedestrian lighting.

This artist’s conception shows what the Roberts Drive, Spalding Drive and Pitts Road replacement bridges might look like with the enhancements Sandy Springs plans to add to GDOT’s basic design. Instead of the overhanging trellis, the deocrative railing that replaces a standard chain link fence will be raised two feet taller. (City of Sandy Springs)

Public Works Director Marty Martin said the suggested enhancements were designs GDOT has approved in the past. He said the railing, barrier wall and widening of the bridge were included in the $5.5 million agreement with GDOT, but wayfinder signs with lighting and other decorative items were not. He said they could add several hundred thousand dollars to the cost for the city.

Councilmembers preferred the stacked-stone look for the bridge’s exterior columns, smaller columns and on the inner barrier walls, which separate pedestrians from traffic.

City leaders proposed using decorative railings to replace what otherwise would have been chain link fencing and to incorporate a “wave” look to suggest the waves in the city logo. Martin was asked to find out the cost of using the city’s colors of blue and green on the signs, instead of gray, and the maintenance involved.

Councilmember Jody Reichel suggested using city colors for the signs, but Councilmember Andy Bauman disagreed. “I’m real cost sensitive on this particular one,” he said. “Whatever is least expensive. I’d rather inform people that they are in Sandy Springs than they are at Pitts Road.”

The overpasses will show cross-street names on the sides of the bridges. GDOT’s standard sign employs white letters on a green background and looks like a standard street sign. The City Council instead wants extended letters that “stick out” from the side of the bridges. The city logo will be seen on the center column of the bridges.

“One other option studied by our consultants for the aesthetics from Ga. 400 in particular might be some sort of end treatment on the bridge overpasses that is consistent with the city’s wave,” Martin said.

Such an end column on the bridges could include the city logo and the city name, with both lit up at night. Council members asked Martin to get prices for the sign options.

Sandy Springs City Council preferred the end column with stacked stone on the right, which also is shown with lights at bottom left. The price for the end column will help determine on which of the three replacement bridges it may be installed. (City of Sandy Springs)

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.