SMYRNA, GA. - In opposition to the Braves' planned move to Cobb County so far, critics have mostly talked about financing. The discussion has revolved around whether or not local businesses and their taxes should shoulder part of the stadium's construction.
But one of the secondary concerns has also popped up at town hall meetings-traffic. One man asked the commissioners if any of them present lived within a mile of the stadium site. When they said no, he told them, "If you did, you would have an appreciation for the tremendous traffic difficulties that are in that area right now, and I haven't heard that addressed."
One woman said she was "petrified of the traffic," while another said it would become "total gridlock."
Over the past few weeks, Cobb County leaders have said several local road improvements would alleviate traffic near the Braves stadium site. A primary one would be a new diverging diamond interchange at Windy Hill road.
On Thursday the Federal Government stepped in to help. In a move officials said was purely coincidental, they approved a $275 million loan to begin work on the Northwest Corridor Project. It would provide a series of managed toll lanes and interchanges running along I-75 and 575. One interchange would help traffic go around the new stadium. It would open the year after the first Braves' first season in Cobb.
"I'm confident the traffic there will be better than it is today, even after the stadium is built," Lee said of the managed lanes and other planned improvements.
Construction begins during the summer of 2014.