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Johnson Ferry Road/Mt Vernon Highway Improvements

Project Status-

Week of 4/22: Continue storm drain installation. Export topsoil. Curb and Sidewalk demolition continues.

Construction start date: Feb. 26, 2024. 

We kicked off a major project on Mt. Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road on February 26, 2024. There will be intermittent lane closures, or flagging operations throughout the duration of the project, which is anticipated to take about 2 years to complete. Always use caution when traveling in a construction zone; we want everyone to make it home safely. 

Clearing and Grubbing began Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Clearing and grubbing for the Johnson Ferry/Mt Vernon Improvements project began Feb 27, and completed in mid-April. In light of the necessary tree removals, we thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of the trees being removed, the condition of those trees, and an overview of the replanting plan.

As a result of the field survey by the City Arborist and project team, a total of 123 trees will be removed. The landscape plan calls for the replanting of 132 trees to replace the 123 that are being removed. We anticipate the number of trees to be replanted will be higher than the currently planned 132. 

It was determined that there are no landmark hardwood trees in the area in front of the library (Mount Vernon side) that can be saved. With the widening of the roadway and the addition of storm drainage and sidepaths, there will be extensive grading and excavation performed in the area.  Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, approximately 1/3 of the trees that might have been potentially saved were determined to be already dead, dying, or hazardous.

We will continue working with the City Arborist throughout the clearing and grubbing process to identify any boundary trees we can potentially work around. At the end of the project, we will be replanting hardwood shade trees, shrubs, and ground cover to mitigate the impacts created by the project. 

Existing traffic signal at Mount Vernon Towers and Johnson Ferry Road

The signalized intersection in front of Mount Vernon Towers will be eliminated as both Mt Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road will consist of an eastbound and westbound lane in each direction and a center two-way left-turn lane that transitions to a left turn lane at intersections. The two roadways will be completely split. The traffic volumes at Mount Vernon Towers do not meet any of the criteria in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to warrant a signal. In the current condition, Mount Vernon Towers is only signalized because the volumes on Johnson Ferry Road crossover leg meet the criteria for a signal. Once the Johnson Ferry leg of the intersection is removed, the intersection will no longer warrant a signal.

The project also adds a new north-south connector road east of the library and west of Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church to move vehicles between Mt Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road. Signals are anticipated at both ends of the proposed connector road. For vehicles turning left out of Mount Vernon Towers, there will be breaks in WB traffic when the signal at Connector Road (the new signalized intersection to the east) turns red, creating gaps in traffic to allow left turns. Left turning vehicles can also utilize the continuous left turn lane (center lane) to cross the WB lane and yield to EB traffic.

 

Project Purpose: The purpose of the proposed project is to improve vehicular and pedestrian mobility and reduce congestion by alleviating the bottleneck conditions that exist for east-west traffic on Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway and north-south traffic on Roswell Road. In addition, pedestrian mobility would improve with the addition of continuous sidewalks on both sides of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway. Restoring Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway to a two-way operation just east of Roswell Road would eliminate the need for east-west traffic to utilize Roswell Road. This project would also improve study area intersections to provide sufficient capacity to accommodate existing and future traffic volumes.

The current configuration results in multiple turning movements, side-street spillover, insufficient turning lane capacity, and excessive congestion.

After input from the community and City Council, the compressed grid alternative was ultimately approved as the best option. Both Mt Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road will consist of an eastbound and westbound lane in each direction and a center two-way left-turn lane that transitions to a left turn lane at intersections. Due to safety and operational issues, southbound left turns from Roswell Road onto Mt Vernon Highway will not be permitted, nor will northbound right turns from Roswell Road to Johnson Ferry Road. Ten-foot-wide multi-use paths are proposed on the inside shoulders of the roads, and six-foot-wide sidewalks are proposed on the outside shoulders. This alternative adds a new north-south connector road east of the library to move vehicles between Mt Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road.

The improvements are included in the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) program approved by voters in Sandy Springs and Fulton County in November 2016.

Adopted Plan

FINAL Plan

Prior Public Meetings 

August 2018 Public Meeting: The City of Sandy Springs held a Public Information Open House on August 30, 2018, to share concepts developed to improve the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway.  The meeting provided the community the chance to review the concepts, ask questions, and provide input. Click here to view recent questions related to the project.  

The proposed improvements are included in the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) program approved by voters in Sandy Springs and Fulton County in a referendum passed in November 2016. 

 

Public Information Open House Meeting - March 8, 2018
The City of Sandy Springs hosted two Public Information Open House meetings on March 8, 2018, regarding concepts developed to improve the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway.  

 

 

 

 

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