Sandy Springs City Council approved spending a little more than $2.95 million to continue design and right-of-way planning for the first phase of the Hammond Drive widening project.

During its May 17 meeting, the City Council approved paying its consultant, Gresham Smith, to continue the development of preliminary plans, right-of-way plans, and final construction plans, as well as to provide construction support.

The additional services will move the project from its initial preliminary plan phase for its Phase 1 construction limits through its construction phase, as well as include work for public involvement and special studies and reports. The project’s Phase 1 limits begin at Boylston Drive and continues to Glenridge Drive.

“The concept for the project, especially the Phase 1 portion, provides for the new Hammond Drive as a separate four-lane roadway section just north of existing Hammond Drive, with the retention of parcels and portions of old Hammond Drive south of that new roadway portion,” Public Works Director Marty Martin said. “It includes right of way acquisition, utility relocations and the construction of this new roadway.”

Concept plans for the Hammond Drive widening project include a roundabout at its intersection with Hildebrand Drive. (Special)

Councilmember John Paulson asked Public Works Director Marty Martin why construction services were being funded when construction won’t begin for quite some time.

Martin said that was done to make the full cost of support from the consultant for this phase of the project public. But the construction services could be set aside and revisited later.

Traffic data collected in 2019 revealed Hammond Drive between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive carried approximately 17,500 vehicles daily – a higher volume of traffic than the capacity of a two-lane roadway. Severe congestion and traffic queuing occur especially during commuting hours. Cut-through traffic has increased in nearby neighborhoods.

In addition to widening the roadway to four lanes, the project will add a multi-use path along both sides of Hammond Drive to improve mobility and provide pedestrian and bicycle movement and safety in the area. Greenspace is projected between the roadway and multi-use paths, and along the south side of the new roadway.

To learn more about the project, visit the website.

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