New Kennesaw bridge will help students and traffic

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Kennesaw State University is one of the fastest growing colleges in the area. They're calling a new bridge over Interstate 75 a win-win. It's about to help students get to class and traffic around a congested City of Kennesaw.

On Monday, hundreds will gather to flip the switch and turn on the new Skip Spann Connector bridge in Kennesaw. It's the first lighted bridge there, and one that has been years in the making.

The new bridge is open to foot traffic and already helping students at KSU get to class faster. "It's really exciting. It's the first lighted bridge in Cobb County. It's a partnership between DOT, Cobb DOT, the Town Center CID, as well as KSU," explains Tracy Rathbone, the Executive Director, Town Center CID.

The $17-million dollar Skip Spann Connector will connect Frey Road with Busbee Drive, over I-75. The new infrastructure is bridging the campus, to where many of the students live.

"Since it's adjacent to the campus, it provides access in a multi-modal fashion connecting over I-75 with vehicular, bike lane as well as a pedestrian feature," adds Rathbone.

The bridge was designed for students, by students, in a competition including area colleges. The winning design is the two mountain peaks that make up the KSU logo.

"Students competed and submitted drawings in teams and so this is a look at the work of the students you see here. We think it's beautiful, as well as functional," says Rathbone.

With a growing student body of more than 34,000 students, traffic around Kennesaw is growing too.  The project is also improving seven nearby intersections. When it opens, it's expected to take 19 percent of traffic off Chastain Road.

"This is one more way for us to make sure that the resources are there in order to keep people moving," Rathbone adds.

The bridge is named after Skip Spann, one of the founders of the Town Center CID. They say Kennesaw wouldn't be the same without his economic influence in the area. His widow will help "flip the switch" and turn the lights on Monday night. It will then be open to traffic on Wednesday, April 27th.