The completion of MacDuff Parkway has moved to the top of the priority list for city staff, according to City Manager Jim Pennington, and the best current estimate is that it could be completely finished within two years.
That timeline was laid out, along with some other details, in a presentation Thursday by Community Services Director Jon Rorie and City Engineer David Borkowski. They offered an updated snapshot of what they called a very complicated project based a recent meeting with the developers.
The extension of MacDuff will cut through and service the major developments planned for what has been dubbed the West Village or Wilksmoore Village, where a 650-unit age-restricted subdivision is planned from developer Kolter Homes and another 205-unit residential subdivision that city staff typically refer to as the “Weiland” property.
The whole project cleared a major hurdle in November of last year when Brent Scarbrough and Company, owner of the property that Kolter is buying to establish its Cresswind subdivision, finally obtained a permit from CSX railroad that will allow MacDuff to cross the tracks at Senoia Road.
The completion of MacDuff Parkway, including a bridge across the CSX railroad, has been a part of the development agreement for the tracts since it was originally laid out in 2007. Obtaining the permit took years, according to Kolter representatives, and fees associated with that permitting will cost developers around $450,000 based on numbers discussed at Thursday night’s council meetings.
The construction of the bridge itself will be complicated as well, staff said, as the intersection with Senoia Road will have to be brought up seven feet to meet grade and cross over the railroad tracks. Borkowski said the intersection at Senoia Road will have to be closed for six to nine months while that construction is done.
The timelines for various parts of the MacDuff extension were divided into three parts and also delineated by the delays necessary for permitting as well as the likely timeframe for construction. The endpoints on each end of the residential development will be completed first, with the railroad crossing being the more challenging of the two, and then those portions of the road will meet in the middle.
Borkowski said a roughly 1,400 foot stretch on the southern end from Franklin Ridge toward the Everton development is currently under construction and could be finished within six months. The section on other end at around 1,900 feet long, which includes the railroad crossing, is likely to take around 20 months to completion, while the 6,300 foot portion that connects the two ends will take a similar amount of time.
Rorie said the timeframes are tentative but the bottom line is the road may be completed within two years.
Rorie also talked about how the new portion of MacDuff Parkway will differ from what currently exists and will include more “traffic calming,” elements to improve safety at intersections with golf cart crossings.
“I think most people imagine the current look of MacDuff is what it will look like all the way to the other end,” Rorie said, but the new design would be quite a bit different.
City Manager Jim Pennington said the traffic easing elements, including slightly raised intersections at certain areas which act to reduce speeds, would set the project apart from Peachtree Parkway, for example.
“This is not going to be Peachtree Parkway, it’s going to be Macduff Parkway. It’s going to be very calm, not a speeding area. I think it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful project,” Pennington said.