Things are about to get messy on Windy Hill Road.
A $42-million extreme makeover of the corridor funded by sales tax dollars was approved in 2016. Since that time several businesses have been relocated and their former buildings torn down, and an intense reconstruction will begin in earnest in about three months.
The Smyrna City Council approved a $29.6 million construction contract with Baldwin Paving Co. by a 6-1 margin at its Monday night meeting. Susan Wilkinson cast the dissenting vote, and has voted against other aspects of the project that have come before the council.
Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton described the project as “massive,” and said construction will be quite disruptive to traffic once it begins in early summer. He compared it to the situation on Spring Road when it was widened ahead of the construction of the new Atlanta Braves stadium.
“It’ll be a three-year construction time,” said Norton. “You should avoid it at all costs once the construction starts. Remember when they did Spring Road? This will be like 100 times bigger than that.”
Once complete, the north end of the road, previously home to several businesses, will be a linear park, and local traffic will be separated from through traffic, which often consists of drivers from West Cobb and Paulding County heading to Highway 41 or Interstate 75.
“Hopefully everyone who is coming from Paulding will zip right through and we won’t have to worry about it anymore,” Norton said. “It will be transformative for the area.”
Along with separating local vehicles from through traffic, the project aims to improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities and access to transit. The project will affect 1.14 miles of the road and, for through traffic, eliminates several stops at traffic lights.