Finally, two years after this project was supposed to be completed, the Decatur Street Pedestrian Improvements in downtown Atlanta will be starting soon.
The project was awarded to JHC Corporation back in December 2008, for a cool $1.5 million. Work will take place on the half-mile stretch of Decatur Street between Peachtree St. and Jessie Hill Jr. Drive. This is right through the "heart" of Georgia State University.
The scope of work is quite nice:
- East of Pryor St., Decatur St. will be narrowed to one lane in each direction, with turn lanes.
- Sidewalks will be widened to finally accommodate the volume of students (no fancy paving, just broom-finished concrete).
- Tree planters will be added and planted with Crepe Myrtles. (I don't see any plans for street furniture, i.e. benches, etc, not sure if they plan on installing any.)
- New roadway lighting will be added, and existing lighting will be painted CODA green (same green that Central Atlanta Progress and Midtown Alliance uses on everything.) Pedestrian-scale lighting will be added.
Also, being an avid cyclist, I would have like to seen bike lanes added, but seeing as this wasn't mentioned in the "Imagine Downtown" plan, not much else I can say about it.
In talking with people familiar with the project, I was told that the only thing holding up the project from starting is a "Letter to Proceed with Construction" from the GADOT. Apparently this letter has been delayed for a couple of months.
To find out what the holdup was, I first called the Division 7 office of GADOT, and they had no record related to the state project number (STP-0004-00(465)) assigned to the project (somewhat concerning?). I then called Mark McKinnon, who handles Public Relations with the GADOT. He assured me that the letter to proceed was to be issued within two weeks.
Not sure if this is moving again due to today's firing of Commissioner Gena Evans who had "slowed road spending to a trickle." According to a source inside the DOT, there is quite a backlog of projects waiting to be approved there.
Once the letter is issued, expect construction to last 7-9 months. I'm waiting for some renderings from the design architect. I'll post them as soon as I get them.
For more information or to look at the plans, visit the project information page.