A virtual public hearing and open house through Oct. 10 will review a proposed pedestrian bridge across the Chattahoochee River between Sandy Springs and Roswell.

The use of almost $3 million in federal funding requires the cities to hold a public hearing open house to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Sandy Springs and Roswell propose constructing the pedestrian bridge to the east of the Roswell Road bridge over the Chattahoochee River. (City of Roswell)

Local residents can take part in the digital open house and view information, displays and conceptual drawings of the project online at roswellgov.com/ChattahoocheeBridge. The public can offer comments online through the website until Oct. 10.

On Aug. 13, Sandy Springs unveiled concepts for three locations in its River Access plan. One of the sites was just west of Roswell Road, with a planned connection to the proposed pedestrian bridge multi-use trail on the eastern side of the road. That site in particular was said to have the potential to spur North End redevelopment by consultants, staff and some committee members.

Roswell is the official sponsor of the pedestrian bridge project. Sandy Springs agreed to share the local match 50/50 with Roswell. The cities are coordinating the project with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

With federal monies and commitments by the two cities, funding for the pedestrian bridge reaches $4.34 million. Original cost estimates top $6.8 million, leaving the cities almost $2.5 million shy of the funds needed.

Kraun said the cities plan to pursue additional funding opportunities that have yet to be determined.

The Sandy Springs City Council committed $878,640 to the pedestrian bridge project, including design ($156,077), right-of way ($400,000) and construction ($322,562) at a September 2019 meeting.

“Right-of-way efforts are expected to begin in early 2021,” spokesperson Sharon Kraun said.

Roswell committed $478,640 to the project at the time. With the property on the north side of the river either GDOT right of way or National Park Service land, the city does not anticipate any related right-of-way costs.

No residential or business relocations are expected for construction of the pedestrian bridge.

City officials chose a prestressed arch beam type for the bridge, to be constructed to the east of the existing Roswell Road bridge.

The east sign alignment preferred by the cities would construct the pedestrian bridge and multiuse trail east of the existing Roswell Road vehicular bridge. The trail would start at the intersection of Roswell Road and Roberts Drive in Sandy Springs and end at the intersection of Roswell Road and Riverside Road.

The trail width would vary from 10 to 14 feet wide. On Roswell’s side of the river, the trail approaching the pedestrian bridge would be 12 feet wide. It would widen to 14 feet on the bridge, and narrow to 10 feet in Sandy Springs where it would connect to an existing sidewalk.

The bridge would be approximately 674 feet long and 30 feet away from Roswell Road at the widest point. The proposed bridge design includes three 20-foot wide refuge areas that would “bulb out” on both sides of the bridge to give pedestrians a place to rest and enjoy the river scenery while staying out of the way of active trail users. The bridge would have lighting and be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Questions about the project can be directed to Darrell DeJean at 770-594-6274 ddjean@roswellgov.com.

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