The Sandy Springs City Council will review a proposal at its June 16 work session to widen part of Hammond Drive by adding two travel lanes and more turn lanes at the Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive intersections.

The plan proposes installing roundabouts at intersections with Hilderbrand Drive and Brookgreen Road/Lorell Trace. Sidewalks and a multiuse path with marked crosswalks and a pedestrian underpass at Kayron Drive to improve connectivity for pedestrians.

A roundabout on Hammond Drive at Kayron and Hilderbrand drives in a conceptual design under consideration by the city of Sandy Springs.

Though residents opposed medians between Roswell and Boylston roads, and also between Glenridge Drive and Barfield Road, city consultants kept them in the conceptual design.

“Given the volume of traffic and need to cross multiple lanes when turning left out of or into driveways in the proposed media areas, it is not advisable from a safety standpoint to allow left-turn movements into and out of those driveways,” the city responded in its presentation prepared for the June 16 meeting.

Residents can attend the 6 p.m. meeting in person at the Studio Theater in City Springs Performing Arts Center, where social distancing and health screenings will be held. Or they attend virtually through video on the city’s Facebook page or in a Zoom webinar.

If the council informally approves proceeding with the concept, the consultants would work on a final design.

In February, city residents were told that the project could affect 80 properties with displacement or right-of-way takings. Some of those properties have been bought, including $1.55 million for 336 Hammond Drive and the adjacent property at 6049 Boylston Drive on May 5. The site had been proposed for an Antico Pizza Napoletana restaurant at one time.

The city has spent $10.5 million to acquire right of way for the project, with another $13.4 million to $16.4 million anticipated still must be bought. Design costs would add another $1.7 million and construction would cost an estimated $34 million. That makes the total project cost ranging from $59.6 million to $62.6 million.

A concept illustration of how the widened Hammond Drive would look at the Boylston Drive intersection.

The city had $14.4 million designated for the project in TSPLOST funds, and has spent $10.7 million of that total already. That leaves $3.7 million for the project.

Adding lanes to Hammond Road should reduce cut-through traffic by eliminating its need caused by backed up traffic, the city presentation said. The Georgia Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of the Ga. 400/I-285 interchange, scheduled to finish this year, also is expected to reduce the number of motorists cutting through neighborhoods, the presentation says.

Hammond Drive has a higher than average number of accidents for that type of road, according to the presentation.

The conceptual design includes a pedestrian underpass at Kayron Drive.

The city expects the completion of a conceptual design this summer, with the full design following in the next 12 to 18 months. Completion of right-of-way acquisition will take 18 to 24 months, and require funds from TSPLOST-2.

Plans to widen Hammond Drive have a long history, with a Citizens Advisory Committee forming in the late 1990s. That resulted in a recommendation to widen the road to four lanes, displacing homes on both sides.

In April 2009, after formation of Sandy Springs as a city, community input was sought. Support for widening Hammond was shown with 65% of the 152 responses in favor. A linear park with a multi-use park got the support of 54% of those people.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.