Powder Springs, Georgia
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Cobb County DOT
PBS&J - Atlanta
JJE Constructors, Inc. - Atlanta
The Silver Comet Trail is Georgia’s most ambitious Rails-to-Trails project. This multi-use paved pathway originates in southwest Cobb County and extends over 57 miles to the Alabama border. Cobb County DOT officials were concerned with pedestrian safety where the trail crossed the C.H. James Parkway. At this junction, the Silver Comet rail bed was at-grade with a very busy five-lane highway. Trail users had to leave the trail and go to a nearby intersection, cross at a signal and then return to the trail on the other side.
“From day one, we knew the crossing was way too dangerous” says David Jackson, Special Projects Engineer for Cobb County DOT. “We put in for state and federal funding along with some local funding, and with good political support were able to obtain the funds to do the much needed grade separation”
Cobb County engineers wanted to keep a comfortable 5 percent maximum approaching grade and were able to do so by using a twin span Continental ® pedestrian truss bridge with a vertical camber on the bridge to join the approaching grades. This design shortened the approaches. It also reduced the amount of reconstruction needed on both ends of the grade separation, thus saving Cobb County those expenses.
The County continues to expand the trail system eastward from the trailhead where the new bridge was installed. It now reaches the Chattahoochee River, the border between Cobb County and the City of Atlanta.
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