Work is expected to begin within the next few weeks on the Clairemont-Commerce-Church Street Pedestrian Safety and Bicycle Trail improvement program.
Lewallen Construction Company of Marietta is the general contractor for the $4+ million project. About 75% of the funding is from grants through the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The project includes intersection improvements to reduce crossing distances and eliminate vehicle “slip” lanes at the Clairemont/Commerce and Church Street/Commerce intersections, permanently reducing Church Street to 2 vehicle lanes, new, wider sidewalks, and a one-way “cycle track” (also known as a “protected bike lane”) on each side of Commerce Drive and Church Street.
New trees planted along Church Street will help turn the corridor into a parkway. The project will extend the recently-completed Commerce Drive cycle track all the way to the northern city limits near Forkner Drive and Medlock Road. Lewallen Construction will also build the Commerce Drive segment connecting Clairemont with Church.
Lewallen is starting preliminary construction activities, including posting warning signs, “potholing” the construction zone to locate underground utilities, setting out construction barricades and barrels, and installing soil erosion control fencing.
This is a complicated construction project that promises to be messy, noisy, and inconvenient. It will require patience. But the payoff will be an attractive and safer pedestrian and bicycle-oriented urban street. The work is expected to take about 18 months.
How to manage
Construction equipment will eventually be present and motorists should remain aware. Pedestrians will generally be limited to the use of sidewalks on one side of the street. Vehicle traffic will be limited to 2 lanes and on-street parking will be eliminated for most of the project.
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