Work is beginning to crank up on the North McDonough Streetscape Improvement and the Railroad Crossing Improvements at McDonough and Candler. The City Commissioners have awarded a contract for the work to BRTU Construction of Forest Park. The total budget for the work is about $5.5 million, a little over two-thirds of which is from federal grants through the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The North McDonough Streetscape Improvements include reducing North McDonough to 2 vehicle lanes, wider sidewalks, and a 2-way “cycle track” on the west side of the street, along with traditional streetscape improvements and on-street parking. The project will also feature “green infrastructure” improvements to improve storm water quality.
The Railroad Crossing Improvements address pedestrian accessibility and safety around and across the two CSX crossings at the intersections of College Avenue and Howard Avenue with Candler Street and McDonough Street. The work provides gentler slopes on the north side of both crossings resulting in an accessible path for persons in wheelchairs as well as a safer route for pedestrians and bicyclists located outside the railroad crossing gates. New traffic signals allowing protected left turns on all legs of the 2 crossings are to be installed as well.
BRTU is starting preliminary construction activities, including posting warning signs, “potholing” the construction zone to locate underground utilities, and setting out construction barricades and barrels. Pedestrians will generally be limited to 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.
How to manage
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 pedestrian and bicycle-oriented main street that is safer and more environmentally sustainable. The work is expected to take 12-18 months.
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An overview of the completed project. Click for larger view and zoom in for greater detail.