Norcross residents who regularly use 141 to get around, take note. You will notice traffic delays next week due to the upcoming PGA Championship that begins Monday, Aug. 8 and runs through the 14th.
If you are not one of the thousands of spectators or volunteers attending the PGA Championship next week, you might want to avoid portions of Medlock Bridge and State Bridge roads.
"Our first and foremost concern is maintaining a safe environment," said Rosemary Taylor, communications manager for Johns Creek.
As the city prepares for some 40,000 visitors for the PGA Championship next week, traffic flow in an already busy corridor is a top concern. The Atlanta Athletic Club is located off Medlock Bridge Road (SR 141), a major corridor used by Gwinnett and Fulton residents.
The Johns Creek Police Department is working with the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Gwinnett Police Department and ChattCom dispatch to implement a traffic plan to ease congestion and incidents in the area. The city has been preparing for the championship for at least two years.
'If possible, the best option would be to simply avoid the area around the club during that week," said Sgt. Ronnie Young, head of JCPD’s Traffic Unit, in a written statement. "But we know that’s not possible for everyone, so our best advice would be to adjust your travel times accordingly."
Some key points the city wants residents to be aware of include:
- Gate hours for the championship vary slightly each day, but are generally 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and those will likely be the peak traffic times.
- The majority of attendees will park at the Gwinnett Center (6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth) and be shuttled on motor coaches nine miles to reach the club. There could be as many as 80 buses in route during peak times.
- The shuttle route will be Sugarloaf Parkway to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to Pleasant Hill Road, which turns into State Bridge Road, and then to Medlock Bridge Road. Return trips follow the same route.
- If necessary, shuttle traffic from/to the Gwinnett Center will be diverted to an alternate route that will approach the club from the south.
- There will also be shuttles transporting spectators from special parking [A] at Perimeter Church, 9500 Medlock Bridge Road; volunteer parking [V] at River Green, 4635 River Green Parkway, Duluth; and special needs parking [S] at Johns Creek High School, 5575 State Bridge Road.
- Staff, vendor, and VIPs parking [B, C, M, L] in the field immediately across from the AAC will cross over 141/Medlock Bridge Road using a new temporary pedestrian bridge (built by the PGA) to increase vehicle traffic flow and ensure pedestrian safety.
- Barriors will be erected alongside SR 141 to protect any pedestrians who may be walking to the club.
Tom Udell, traffic services manager for the city, will be among a team monitoring traffic through seven cameras located on Medlock Bridge that are part of an intelligent traffic system.
The team, which will be set up in City Hall, will also include representatives from GDOT and the JCPD, and the cameras will also feed to police at their command posts.
The team will be able to adjust traffic signals to improve traffic flow, as well as dispatch help to any accidents or stranded motorists. Some GDOT HERO trucks will be available, as well as some brand new incident response trucks owned by Johns Creek.
"As soon as the PGA is over, we'll start working on installing the intelligent traffic system on State Bridge Road," Udell said. But right now, "we're laying the groundwork for other big events," he added.
The city has also worked with federal agencies like the FBI, the ATF and the DEA in providing security for the championship, and the Johns Creek Fire Department will provide emergency medical services with the help of GEMA, which is providing a trauma trailer.
Said Taylor, "Just the practice is helping the city. It's a practice run if – heaven help us – we ever had a mass evacuation."