An Innovative Urban Highway Design to Increase Safety and Mobility
Windy Hill Boulevard is an innovative urban highway design that separates local and commuter traffic to increase mobility and safety, as well as implements a “complete street” concept. The project reconstructs an existing five-lane roadway section of Windy Hill Road in Smyrna, Ga. with a boulevard concept by creating three grade-separated, yet parallel, roads. Four express lanes provide mobility for through traffic, while one-lane frontage roads on either side accommodate local traffic. The project also includes two strategically placed bridges with park areas to provide local vehicular and pedestrian traffic the ability to traverse the express lanes.
Croy’s team overcame several challenges during the design process. Overall, the design required three parallel, but separate, roads to connect at various points – a concept that adds significant complexities even before meeting the aesthetic requirements that had been set by stakeholders. Despite rapidly inflating general construction costs in the region, our Croy team kept the project budget in mind by undertaking a significant value engineering of the project halfway through design. The selected options kept the overall functionality and appeal of the project, while reducing impacts and creating a savings of more than $5 million.
In addition, the project required substantial stakeholder input and public participation. A major component of the public outreach and engagement strategy was the development of a 3D rendering video. The ability to show a rendered 3D video, complete with moving cars, bicyclists, and walkers, during Public Information Open Houses was a significant benefit in helping the community understand the project scope, concept, and impact. This project demonstrates successful use of integrating sophisticated software and available technologies to both improve the design process and engage stakeholders, elected officials, and the public.
- One of the largest transportation infrastructure projects undertaken in Cobb County utilizing only local funding
- “Complete Street” concept
- 3D video component to boost public engagement and understanding