2017: A Year in Review
The Encore Parkway Bridge and Corridor Improvement project had been on our project list since we first completed Blueprint North Fulton in 2006, and we were finally able to mark that project as completed in 2017. This monumental project consisted of widening and replacing the previously-existing Encore Parkway bridge over GA 400 between Westside Parkway and North Point Parkway. The new roadway includes two travel lanes as well as bicycle lanes and sidewalks on each side with landscaped buffers and a landscaped median. We broke ground on the project in January of 2016 on a tight construction deadline to get the new bridge open to traffic by Thanksgiving for holiday shopping traffic. Our staff and board marked that major accomplishment by driving the first car over the bridge on November 22, 2016 – a red vintage Land Rover loaned by Hennessy Land Rover. Work continued into 2017, and we celebrated its official completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony in June of 2017. We marked the occasion with our partners on the bridge surrounded by a great crowd. The bridge has been referred to as a “gateway” to Alpharetta and a “gamechanger” as other community leaders are looking to Encore Parkway as a prototype for other bridges in the area.
Despite its massive undertaking, Encore Parkway was not our only project of 2017! We kept our partners and project coordinators busy with another, equally impactful project – Northwinds Parkway Extension. Northwinds Parkway was also envisioned in the CID’s Blueprint North Fulton master plan and was included in the North Fulton Comprehensive Transportation plan completed in 2010. The project was a joint effort to build out Northwinds Parkway, which previously ended at Kimball Bridge Road, to Old Milton Parkway. We completed the first phase of the project in November of 2016. With the second phase completed in 2017, we officially opened the cut-through to vehicles and pedestrians, marking its completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 2017.
Aside from the major projects we completed, 2017 brought change for the CID as well. Not only did we expand our boundaries significantly, welcoming new members to the CID, but we also welcomed new faces to our board. Alvin “Al” P. Nash and Steve Massell both joined our board of directors as representatives of their communities. We also said farewell to our long-time leader, Ann Hanlon, as she resigned to assume a new role leading the Perimeter CIDs. Our president, Brandon Beach stepped in as interim executive director, which was announced to become a permanent change in 2018 as he declared his departure from his role as president of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
2017 was an outstanding year for the North Fulton CID, but we’re not looking to stop anytime soon. At the September board meeting, our members voted to extend the North Fulton CID’s lifetime through 2027, allowing us to plan further ahead and with more long-term commitments in mind. With the completion of all our first-tier projects from Blueprint North Fulton, we look forward to expanding our boundaries and finding new projects that will improve the North Fulton district. 2018 will bring great things for our organization, and we look forward to making a greater impact in the years ahead.