Medlock Bridge Rd Widening to 6 Lanes – The Good, The Bad & Ugly

The entire length of Medlock Bridge Rd, from the River to McGinnis Ferry Rd is to be widened, according to City Hall. No specific Public Hearing or Notice has been given, so there has been no opportunity for input from the community.

The City has ALREADY sent out the project for Bid, and Staff are recommending ‘Georgia Development Partners’ to do the first phase from Medlock Crossing to St Ives Country Club for almost $1 Million.

The Good

The most significant part of this project is the reduction of the concrete island, for a 3rd through lane to cross over State Bridge Rd. (We’ve highlighted in yellow what is to be removed, to allow for the 3rd lane.)

Why has it taken the City TEN YEARS to figure this out?

 

The Bad

1) The loss of the Deceleration lanes & Acceleration Lanes throughout the road. Entering and Exiting Publixs, or the Car Wash, etc will be more difficult and dangerous. Expect more rear-end collisions. Without those lanes, it will be more difficult to merge into the traffic.

2) Expect More Commuter Cars from Forsyth. With the additional lane, it will become the choice route for non-residents. High-Density Developers in Forsyth County will build more rapidly, as this route will attract more people seeking affordable housing.

The Ugly

St Ives is being FORCED to reconfigure their entrance to allow the 3rd lane to continue up toward McGinnis Ferry Rd. They are anticipated to be compensated a paltry $4k.

1) The Current Deceleration / Acceleration Lane will become the 3rd Through Lane. This will transform the area into a de-facto Freeway.

2) A NEW Deceleration lane to enter St Ives will go closer to the wall and flower bed. A Concrete island (Blue Triangle)  is in the design as well. That will make the entrance more difficult for drivers coming from the north side of 141. Residents will have to enter in the Visitors lane and swing over to the Resident lane, creating a dangerous backup.

3) This configuration will also have ALL cars stop at the light and not allow cars to go North on 141, without a green light. The removal of the Deceleration lane will make it difficult to safely merge into traffic.

4) The additional lanes will create much more road noise for the residential communities abutting Medlock Bridge Rd. Many of those Residents built those homes when Medlock Bridge Rd was a quiet 2 lane road. A soundwall or reduction methods are not included in the plans.

 

Neighbors, What are your thoughts on these plans? Do you think it is necessary to widen the entire 4-mile road, or just the main intersections? Leave a comment below and send an email to City Council electedofficials@johnscreekga.gov

Source: City of Johns Creek

30 thoughts on “Medlock Bridge Rd Widening to 6 Lanes – The Good, The Bad & Ugly”

  1. Thanks for increasing awareness about the widening of Medlock Bridge. I Continue to ask what discussions have taken place with surrounding municipalities to divert traffic (within their jurisdictions) to other major arteries for commuter traffic. Why not create and expand arteries IN Forsyth County to flow into 400 and Peachtree Industrial? Both of those roads were built for potential expansion/widening with fewer/no stoplights (for better commuter flow) and without the same kinds of resident/neighborhood impact to Johns Creek by widening, Again, Medlock Bridge. 400 and PIB do not flow right next to schools and RIGHT next to neighborhoods like Medlock Bridge does.

    You are right about the risks of additional accidents, noise, hardship on residents and more. There are solutions outside of the only one our city is looking at and those solutions require serious dialogue with surrounding areas.

    1. Hi Michele! I agree with everything you mentioned above. Rocky is the President of the Homeowners and was just told about this. We will not be able to go left out of our neighborhood. There need to be more options put on the table!

          1. I feel for all the lovely neighborhoods along Medlock Bridge now that our city has slated it as a freeway. Clearly the neighborhoods never expected such widening and, given that a real freeway….400…is available to anyone north of Johns Creek, why not direct commuters that direction? Same with Peachtree Industrial, which could certainly be widened with far less residential impact. If cities planned together regarding growth and density, communities wouldn’t suffer these quality of life diminishing consequences. Prestwick is going to be forced into U-turn options. What a shame.

    2. why not widen PIB instead and raise the speed limit from 45 MPH. Also a bigger problem is Abbots bridge road. It needs to be widened.

      1. Abbotts Bridge is already scheduled to be widened in segments. PIB used to have a 55 speed limit but they lowered it a few years ago. I read a few years ago that at one point, GDOT considered extending the limited access highway portion of PIB from Holcomb Bridge to Sugarloaf Parkway as a tolled road with the new access roads as non tolled surface streets. That would be a much better alternative than widening 141, but I have not heard about that idea in many years.

  2. typical billboard bodker.

    jamming the citizens with things they dont want.

    he needs to move to forsyth county. he represents them better than johns creek.

    1. P.C. how did you vote in november on the transportation tax issue? I think the mayor only got two votes – one on the city council to define this as one of the priority projects and one in the general election to approve funding.

  3. So, what is the benefit to Johns Creek citizens: all of this for more commuter cars and traffic from Forsyth County dwellers? Sounds like a lose-lose proposition

  4. If a grade separated intersection was constructed at 141 and States Bridge and maybe again at 141 and Abbotts Bridge, that would open up 141 and widening may not be needed. The overpass has totally removed the bottleneck on Pleasant Hill and Buford Hwy.

    As for why did it take 10 years to remove the concrete island that will allow three thru lanes on 141 south at States Bridge….keep in mind that the third south bound lane between States Bridge and Medlock Bridge crossing was just added in 2014. Prior to that only two lanes were southbound between States Bridge and Medlock Bridge Crossing.

    1. The real question is why did it take TEN years to come up with the 3 lanes through intersection, on both the north and south side of State Bridge rd.

    2. Let’s think about this logically. How many of you have been driving north or south on 141 and gotten to the river and found it hard to cross just because you were crossing the river?

      No one.

      Sit down at Atlanta Athletic Club and watch the traffic head south on 141 during rush hour. It flows smoothly UNTIL the traffic backs up NOT from the river crossing but from the traffic light at East Jones Bridge and 141.

      So what will widening 141 to six lanes in Johns Creek do, other than destroy the appearance of the area?

      Absolutely nothing.

      Instead, the intersection at 141 and East Jones Bridge should be widened to three lanes through south past the Forum to Spalding. As anyone who drives this knows, the “congestion” disappears after Spalding.

      What does this tell us? It’s not really about the number of lanes, but the number of lights and the amount of time they are Red stopping traffic on 141.

      The light at East Jones Bridge is green a shorter time than the one located at Peachtree Corners Circle. So the East Jones Bridge light dams up the traffic for more than two miles every morning. Keep that light green a bit longer and add a third lane southbound at that light(all the asphalt is already there) and the backup will disappear.

      It’s really that simple.

      Traffic volumes have not skyrocketed on 141 as we are told. Have a look at the GDOT Traffic server data and see for yourself.

      http://trafficserver.transmetric.com/gdot-prod/tcdb.jsp?siteid=1210356#

      Where is the leadership we need to question these important issues before our community is truly changed into something the majority of us do not want?

  5. Why should us john creek citizens suffer the widening of Med lock to help firstly county . Make them pay for the use. JC government needs to wake up and smell the coffee and be more clear about projects instead of closed door policy

    1. The citizens of Johns Creek voted for this (by the narrowest of margins) on November 8th. It was clearly advertised as one of the Tier 1 projects if TSPOST got approved – so no “closed door” policy, just lack of voters paying attention. No one in Forsyth County made us pony up for this – we did this to ourselves !

      1. The specific project plans were not advertised, just the concept.

        These plans were obtained through the bidding process for contractors.

        1. The City scheduled 3 meetings to give the public multiple opportunities to learn about the project list, ask questions and offer suggestions:

          Wednesday, May 4, 6-8 p.m., City Council chambers, 12000 Findley Rd., Suite 300

          Tuesday, May 10, 6-8 p.m., Fire Station 62 Community Room, 10925 Rogers Circle

          Monday, May 16, 6-8 p.m., Park Place at Newtown Park, 3125 Old Alabama Rd.

          In September 2016, the city posted on their website the following:

          “The Johns Creek City Council approved the City’s list of 25 road improvement projects and prioritized the list into three tiers with input from transportation experts, outside consultants, and residents. More specifically, Johns Creek intends to improve every major traffic artery in the City through TSPLOST with the exception of Abbots Bridge Road, which is already accounted for with existing funds.

          Tier 1 projects, which are viewed as the top priority, list 12 projects. The Tier 2 list identifies two projects. Tier 3 projects, which will only be implemented should we exceed our collection estimate and complete projects on both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lists, includes nine projects.

          [We} encourage you to visit the City’s website, http://www.johnscreekga.gov/TSPLOST, which includes detailed information and interactive maps regarding Johns Creek’s TSPLOST projects highlighted in each of the tiers.”

          Other communication vehicles were used to advertise the location of the project details.

          1. The specific construction project plans were never released publicly until the contractor bidding last month.

            The TSPLOST is funding vehicle to address the project list, which details are to be voted on by council on a project by project basis.

            Both MGF & Jones Bridge widening are to be recipients of TPLOST and recently had public input meetings regarding the SPECIFIC plans.

            Where is the public input
            Meeting for Medlock Bridge rd?

            1. my point was that it didn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that scope of work we were voting on prior to the Nov ballot “JCR-001 Medlock Bridge Capacity Improvements – this project will overlay, widen and restripe Medlock Bridge Road to increase vehicle capacity from 4 lanes to 6 lanes from the Chattahoochee River to McGinnis Ferry Road”. When there will be a public input meeting on SR 141 is a fair question, but you need to ask that of the Public Works Dept. Have you called them to find out the schedule? Tom Black is pretty good about answering his phone (678-512-3248).

              PS: I don’t recall the city hosting one for SR 120 widening either, but maybe that’s done by GDOT, since it is also a State Road.

            2. I notice you have yet to release my reply to your “editor says” note above. Hopefully, that means you are first contacting Tom Black to answer your question about public input rather than my public input being stifled?

  6. The following is a reply from city staff regarding this subject last week:

    “the discussion to relieve congestion on Medlock Bridge SR-141 has been an ongoing discussion for years. The last council told the staff to move forward with the “THRU-U” concept for the Medlock Bridge / State Bridge Intersection. However, by the time we received GDOT support & approval , the new council was elected and they did not support moving forward with the “THRU-U”. The new Council (the one that is place now) wanted more options for the intersection and the staff provided over 20 new possible concepts for the intersection. Then they wanted to see how the reasonable options faired in a traffic modelling exercise? As we went through these options and coordinated with GDOT (because it is a state Highway and under their approval), the staff started a conversation with GDOT on the possibility of “flex lanes” (these were to be lanes that were open only during rush hours) rather the just a full time third lane North & South? The first couple of meeting with GDOT on the Flex Lanes were very favorable and they asked us for additional information. I briefed the Mayor & City Council on the discussions and there was not any “push back” on moving forward. Then when we brought the concept plans to GDOT for approval to move ahead, the State Traffic Engineer would not support the Flex Lanes. His concern was that no one had done this in Georgia and he had no confidence that the travelling public would understand the operation? So at that point we went back to the 3 lanes north & south in phases, because the number one issue from the residents was continuing to be traffic congestion in the city with the worst issue was on Medlock Bridge Road.
    That was about the time that the legislature & Fulton County started the discussion on a SPLOST for Transportation in all of the Fulton County cities except the City of Atlanta. That was when the cities hired a consultant to assemble the possible regionally significant projects with a concentration on reducing congestion in Fulton County. All of the cities then adopted their projects and they were put on the ballot for the citizens to approve or disapprove? The capacity project for Medlock Bridge was in Tier #1 on the list. During that time frame, there was a child brushed by a vehicle in the cross walk in front of St. Ives and the residents wanted better access to get out of their subdivisions onto Medlock Bridge. So we broke out Phase one of the project to jump start the project on Medlock Bridge through State Bridge from Medlock Crossing Parkway to the entrance of St. Ives. The project has been designed and the bid to award the construction was on the future agenda list on 1/23/17. It is on the Work Session on 2/13/17 and scheduled for a vote to approve by the Mayor & Council on 2/27/17.
    Beyond that, there are several phases to the total project and their timing will be based on numerous factors not totally within the City of Johns Creek. There are issues being discussed with Gwinnett County (both on Medlock & the extension of State Bridge), and Peachtree Corners (when they will move forward with their widening of Medlock Bridge).
    On the issue of the “half signals” (one @ Prestwick & One at Winfield on the River), that is an option to allow a safe left turn movement out of the subdivisions (Prestwick, Thornhill, River Bluff, and Winfield on the River). This discussion came up because the staff has attempted to obtain a traffic signal at Prestwick & Winfield, but those locations “do not meet traffic warrants to install a signal”. So in our discussions with GDOT the “half signals” as an operational improvement were discussed. GDOT has been receptive to the discussions, but we met with members of the HOA and they did not support the changes until a third lane was constructed. So that was the game plan that the staff is following through the several phases of the project construction.
    I hope I have helped in the conversation?”

    Tom Black
    Public Works Director
    Johns Creek

    1. It’s just wrong to think that the submission of a list of proposed projects for TSPLOST means that the voters approved en masse all of these “plans”.

      All or nothing? That is the sort of representative government we are going to have here in Johns Creek.

      This sounds more like the pork barrel project list that gets stuck in to Federal legislation,and not how local government should operate.

      While voters may have voted for TSPLOST to be collected, that did not mean that the Tom Black can do whatever he wants over the next five years needing only the blessing of the Council. The residents of Johns Creek did not give up their right to have public hearings on these city altering road projects.

      How many of you that did vote for TSPLOST did so knowing that you would have no further input on roads for the next five years?

      1. I voted for TSPLOST based on what was on the Tier 1 project list. I am ok with our city leaders, GDOT and the engineers to iron out the details as long as the projects on Tier 1 and hopefully Tier 2 and even Tier 3 are completed.

  7. Remember Kevin Costner’s baseball movie Field of Dreams? “Build it and they will come”. Widening roads does not relieve present traffic loads…it just increases loads.

  8. I’m not sure what the issue is. I gladly voted for TSPLOST because it was clearly communicated to me what the Tier 1 projects were. I want infrastructure improvements. Sure widening roads lead to more congestion, but Metro Atlanta’s answer to saying no to Marta and Road Improvements has not stopped the sprawl.

    1. It wasn’t clearly communicated as the St Ives Board of Directors only found out about the imminent plans a few weeks ago.

      Many concepts have been floated about for the last 2 years.

      Nothing has been publicly presented such as the specific construction plans sent out to bid.

  9. Too little too late. The quality of life due to traffic in Johns Creek is ridiculous. If you want to fix the traffic problems, look towards real solutions.
    -Get rid of all the stoplights – just backs up traffic from light to light
    -Use flyovers – keeps cars moving
    -Left turn lanes onto highways and roads just stall traffic
    -Look at roads with wide berm and/or property to eminent domain
    -Start making hard decisions and executing them

    I am from various parts of California in “supposedly” areas that have bad traffic. It is NOTHING in comparison to the traffic here in Johns Creek/North Fulton County. We are certainly not proctive here and honestly not even reactive, we put our heads in the sand and not deal with critical issues.

    Get out and work with those other cities to make living here a viable option.

    The option that was first done on the Old Alabama widening project was an absolute joke – whoever approved the first plans (was to the final plans) clearly has never driven on that road in any sort of rush hour.

    In my opinion, you have missed the mark and continue to do so.

    I agree with doing this project, however, there is SO much more to do and you better look to make some hard choices quickly before you make Johns Creek the worse city to live in, which it is becoming…

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