F’ville pushes pedestrian bridge over Hwy. 54 at hospital

Traffic stops for a red light recently at the at-grade pedestrian crossing in front of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Photo/Ben Nelms.

A pedestrian bridge across the busy intersection in front of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital is back on the front burner.

The idea of installing a pedestrian bridge over Ga. Highway 54 into Togwatee Village Shopping Center ran into difficulty a few years ago and gave way to a lesser proposal of upgrading the intersection at street level.

And though a $400,000 grant through the Ga. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) was approved for that project, Fayetteville has renewed its interest in trying again for the larger pedestrian bridge project.

The grant award that would upgrade pedestrian access at street level across Hwy. 54 to the Togwotee Village commercial and residential development and install a multi-use path south to Lester Road was approved in mid-2011, though putting the project into play continues to require a significant amount of preliminary design and environmental work along with DOT approval, said Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton.

The move to try again for the pedestrian bridge stems from a portion of the DOT approval process that deals with the speed limit along Hwy. 54. Morton said DOT wants to keep the speed limit at 55 miles per hour rather than lowering the speed to the 45 miles per hour the city believes is more appropriate.

“The grade-level improvements won’t be as significant as what we need and we won’t resolve the issues of pedestrians crossing the highway,” Morton said. “So we are discussing with DOT and Fayette County the idea of going back to the original proposal of having a pedestrian bridge (over Hwy. 54).”

Adding to the need to get approval for the pedestrian bridge is the recent confirmation that Pinewood Studios will be moving to Fayette County just a mile north of the hospital and the expectation that a number of the businesses supporting the studio will be located at Togwotee Village commercial center directly across the highway from the hospital.

“We already saw before Pinewood that we needed a lower speed limit (on Hwy. 54). Having a pedestrian bridge rather than the grade-level improvements would satisfy our needs,” said Morton. “So this is the opportune time to go back and revisit the proposal.”

Morton said the original pedestrian bridge grant proposal was a $1 million project compared to the nearly half-million dollar alternative request for grade-level work that was approved by DOT. Morton noted that the pedestrian bridge proposal will also include the multi-use path system that would connect Togwotee Village to the large number of homes on Lester Road a short distance to the south.

Morton said the work needed to revert back to the pedestrian bridge proposal is ongoing, adding that he expects a decision by DOT to be forthcoming in the near-term.

As currently approved, the grant award is through a federal Transportation Enhancement program administered through DOT.

conditon55
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Interesting Idea

Bridge or Tunnel Good.

Which ever one, just make it nice.

sparerib
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fayette-dale

I’m sure those 8 people that walk across each day will appreciate the funds that will be spent on the project and I’m sure that 7 of the 8 are from Clayton County.

MWF
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FYI to MLC

Fayetteville already registers golf carts through the PD.

moelarrycurly
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mwf

Well, I stand corrected. My apologies. And you should be so relieved that that issue is not an issue. Whew, check that off the list.

kcchiefandy
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well, mlc...

...living in the subdivisions south of Togwatee, I don't know where the 'MILES' of blacktop you speak of come from. If the projected 2 paths (if I remember correctly) go in, it'll be about 1-1 1/2 miles of asphalt, much like the ones that exist in the Stonebriar subdivisions already (oh, in 10 yrs there these paths have been 'maintained' ONCE). As for 'golf carts', there's a handful out here, and why would someone - the few - take a golf cart to the hospital?

I appreciate your concerns but hope to address your ignorance of the area you're speaking of. The light between Togwatee & the hospital - already there - will of course have to remain. A bridge would eliminate the need for the constant sensor-stoplights there - FOR EVEN 1 VEHICLE - that golf carts would cause, but then again, who would take a cart OVER 54 to the hospital?!? Even foot traffic would be minimal, but be more for those staff & family at the hospital to get to the shops, services, & restaurants in Togwatee.

I don't know how many cross there, as they may just drive because that's the safest choice vice cross a highway full of GA drivers, and of course I'm biased because I'd love a path to walk/bike up there, but if studied there might be a real reason to put it in (btw, I doubt Pinewood is going to generate that kind of traffic concern).

moelarrycurly
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kcchief

My ignorance? Funny, last I checked, GDOT does not allow carts to cross state highways, thus the ONLY reason for this bridge, unless you want to foot the expense for tunnels under 54.

Golf cart to the hospital? Why, no, take a golf cart thru the hospital lot around back, up Sandy Creek to Pinewood Studios along the rural path up to Pinewood. Or did you miss that part?

What is the life span of a cart path? If you plan on not living here more than 10 years, then good for you. See, paths don't go away in one decade. They last for 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years, as PTC well knows. You want to follow the PTC model that is being used? Come borrow my cart for an afternoon and see what is needed to maintain paths.

Pinewood? Tip of the proverbial iceberg for what will come next out there. IF they even come, see what the news was today for Gwinnett County to build the "Southeast's largest movie studio"). Already being 2nd guessed as to the overbuilding of studios in Ga. when none of the newbies have even broken ground yet! You want to have the expense of a bridge and paths to nowhere (up Sandy Creek) if Pinewood pulls out or downsizes their plans? Talk about putting the path before the horse. Or something like that.

I looked at the map. Know how many homes I saw on Sandy Creek from the hospital to Pinewood, where the path would abruptly end? About 4-6 if I counted correctly. Man, those rural landowners must be chomping at the bit to run, walk, bike ride, skateboard, cartwheel, hopscotch, mobility scooter race or golf cart down to Togwatee and the senior cluster homes in the back. Much better, all those coming from Togwatee and the senior homes out back (can't remember the name of it) over across the entrances to their property just to gawk...at what? Brad Pitt in a black tinted windowed limo? Oh, wait, he will be helicoptered in, not driven.

If Togwatee is unoccupied, it is not for the lack of a bridge to feed those businesses. What a lame excuse. It is due to poor marketing, stores/businesses that do not offer what the thousands of travelers AND captive hospital workers want/need that are right there or going by day after day. Or the leases are too high. Pick any of the above.

How many doctors, surgeons, nurses, admin., technicians, volunteers, housekeepers, and food workers do we think will be sprinting over the bridge and back for their 30 minute to 1 hour lunch or dinner during the hot, muggy summer months and then during the cold, rainy winter months? A million dollars worth? Then if your answer is yes, just sit back, say nothing and watch the show coming at you..it's going to better than any movie made up in that field above.

Don't get me wrong. I can't wait to see what's coming. Hollywood couldn't have scripted this any better than what I have heard.

kcchiefandy
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mlc, I don't understand...

...where you're getting the hospital-to-Pinewood cart path(s). This article speaks to the potential paths south to the Stonebriar & Beaverbrook subdivisions. The bridge, as I said, depends on how many do, or will, cross there; I can support/not support it depending on that. Keeping the speed at 55 is almost a moot point since there are 3 stoplights w/in 1 mile in this stretch of 54, esp. the irritating one in question that operates on a sensor - 1 car (even turning right!) - stops all traffic.

Yes, paths do not go away in 1 decade; that was my point. They need very little maintenance once laid; mostly a 1-time cost outlay. I believe the low occupancy of Togwatee is more due to the economy than marketing; there are businesses still there from the start. Just keep driving east on 54 and you'll see similar strip malls/centers.

I may be low-balling the impact of Pinewood to this area, but again my biased view is for the cart/bike/walking paths coming from the southern subdivisions.

moelarrycurly
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kcchiefandy

I suggest you pick up the phone and get some background on this. This has to do with Pinewood.

I wonder how you know so much about paths and their maintenance.

If you want paths, then just sit back (I said that before) and do nothing. You are being Peachtree Citied. Only you are not. Good luck with getting the facts of what is really going on.

kcchiefandy
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Ok, mlc...

...even though the two 1/2 mile or so paths I'm interested in were already tied in w/ the crosswalks already in place, and as I've said twice the bridge I really don't care about, I'll keep tabs on what's going on about this. I think Pinewood has minimal effect on this, as there's no connection from the hospital to their pending lots. What does a bridge to a hospital have to do w/ a movie studio a mile away???

As said, twice, the paths in our subdivision have sat there, same 'ol, same 'ol, for 10 years. They were patched in a couple areas a couple of years ago, but that has been it. Also, I would hazard to guess there are maybe a dozen golf carts out here; this area is NOT a mini-PTC at all; those w/ golf carts probably came from PTC!

rmoc
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DOT and sidewalks

If the DOT did not insist on wasted sidewalks which cost a lot more than Cart Paths they could afford bridges. Look at the sidewalks on south 74 ..what a waste of money when a multi-use path would be used more and cost less.

moelarrycurly
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Fayetteville Sheeple

Better get on the phone and online to your city hall and find out how much money is going to come out of your city budget, folks. Not the big DOT $$, but the $$ coming from your property tax dollars for this.

Oh, and not just for the initial build and design and engineering and cost overruns, but for the annual cost to maintain the miles of asphalt that will be laid down leading to the bridge, and the signage needed.

Don't forget to ask who's going to regulate the golf carts and who is going to police the new path and come up with a database to have all these records stored and what city staff will work on all issues regarding the path/carts. Who will come up with the new ordinances needed?

Finally, is this bridge over 54 going to be long enough to allow for the future expansion of Hwy 54 in that area, to say, 6 or more lanes, (you know with the hundreds of vehicles Pinewood will attract) or will a newer bridge overhead have to be bought and installed in a few years?

All for a studio that isn't even in your quiet little city. Sounds like a big YES to me, but I guess we have heard this before, some 34,364 of us who have been there, done that. Or maybe I am just deja vuing for some silly reason?

Looks like this is the beginning of you folks being PTC'd. Get used to it or stand up and say no now. Your choice.

AtHomeGym
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Bridge over 54 fm Hospital to Togwatee Village

Where are the pedestrians? Not there. Dumb idea. Waste of money.

moelarrycurly
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AHG

I got my strawberries at Adams farm the other day. Very juicy but those little bumps on them are really goosebumps this year...it's a little chilly kinda late for those berries!

AtHomeGym
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MLC & Strawberries

Yep, got some Monday! Pretty good but little better if cut up and add a little sugar and let them mascerate a tad. Will get more later and Frau Gym will make jam as she does about every other year.

moelarrycurly
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Adams

Yes, more to come the next few weeks. Good cut up in slices on the cereal in the morning, too.

Does Frau Gym take those mascerated ones and pour them over angel food cake slices and put some whipped cream on top? So yummo.

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