SNELLVILLE – A standing room only crowd heard operational plans for the state’s highway 78/124 intersection project and about a library and city market proposal for the Towne Center Wednesday.
Residents left the meeting with a better understanding of the future of the Georgia Department of Transportation intersection project. While right of way issues came up, city officials made clear it is the state, not the city, which is responsible for all property acquisition and the construction of the planned Divergent Left Turn intersection. Scott Shelton of Gresham, Smith and Partners, the lead engineer for the project, said actual construction could take two years to complete. Currently the state and landowners are in land acquisition talks and construction is slated to begin next summer.
Shelton’s presentation, which concentrated on explaining how traffic would flow in the new design and the history of the project, can be found at http://www.snellville.org/Forums/Thread.aspx?pageid=95&t=7~1
Also at the meeting, city leaders announced their desire to move the Elizabeth H. Williams Library to a new facility in the city’s planned Towne Center. The new library would be located in a more centralized and convenient location on Wisteria Drive near the Police Department and City Hall and be a real driver for the Towne Center.
The city has invested wisely in property for future development on Wisteria Drive, and Mayor Tom Witts, fellow councilmembers and city officials stated that they had begun a conversation with county officials regarding the potential of funding for the construction of the new library in the county’s 2017 Special Local Option Sales Tax renewal if it is passed.
Plans for the library would be developed in a partnership with Gwinnett County much like the new Lilburn library. The city’s vision also includes a connected City Market that would be home to retail market space, restaurants, bistros, outside dining and pedestrian space and patterned after ultra-successful market developments such as Krog Street Market and Sweet Auburn Curb Market which have revitalized their adjacent neighborhoods.
City officials also believe new construction should include open building space that would be available for uses from education to civic events.
City leaders hailed the proposals for the library and City Market as vital catalysts for moving Snellville’s Towne Center Plan forward. The projects will serve as big steps and major anchors for the future Towne Center. The crowd in attendance agreed wholeheartedly through their positive comments and input.