Metro South Community Improvement District (MSCID) Serves as the Catalyst to Bring Local Communities Together Around the Cedar Grove Bridge Closing

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Atlanta – December 4, 2020 – On Tuesday, November 10, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved $4.1 million for the Cedar Grove bridge construction and the necessary improvements along the alternate routes. The Cedar Grove Bridge was closed on March 27, 2020, when the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) deemed the structure in critical condition. This closure created a major emergency in South DeKalb, Atlanta’s major trucking hub, which serves metro Atlanta and the country with the transport of essential goods such as vital medical supplies that were needed due to the pandemic.

Emory Morsberger, president of MSCID, spearheaded efforts to resolve the closure by quickly taking action and bringing together businesses, government officials and community residents on a Zoom call that occurred on November 12. “The County heard us and we could not be more pleased with their support. We are so impressed that they jumped in and got this incredible response with funding to resolve the issue,” said Morsberger. MSCID is focused on numerous economic developments, area landscaping, security, curb appeal upgrades and major transportation projects.

DeKalb County Officials voted, with the support of Commissioner Larry Johnson, to approve the funding of this project to move forward. The vote approved $4,000,000 for the replacement of The Cedar Grove Bridge, and $150,000+ for upgrades to the Bonsal/Henrico alternate route. As a result of this vote, this major project will happen six to12 months sooner than originally projected.

Commissioner Larry Johnson stated, “This was an emergency situation that needed to be dealt with in a timely manner. I am so pleased the commission recognized the severity of this closure and what it means to businesses and our community. I could not have done this without everyone else jumping on board to help.”

As a result of the closure of the main transport route, over 500 tractor-trailers per day have been forced to use less efficient alternate routes. Two of the fastest alternate routes went through residential neighborhoods causing community concern. In addition, the DeKalb Police have been forced to use the less efficient alternate routes as a result. These changes not only have increased transport time but also created substantial safety issues. The financial impact to the businesses affected by rerouting alone is estimated to be approximately $200,000 per

Joel Gross, chair of MSCID, added that “While our CID has only been in existence for a few years, we have had many victories in economic development in our district. But I must say this one has had the most impressive response. When Emory Morsberger labeled the needs of this community an emergency and declared a need for response, the CID was there to do exactly that. As the name ‘Community Improvement District’ implies, we have identified the improvements needed and the funding to accommodate these critical repairs.”

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Lindsay Williams