After nearly two decades of planning, East Point will soon break ground on Main Street safety and appearance enhancements.
“The long awaited Downtown East Point Streetscape Project is finally here,” city spokeswoman Shannon Wiggins said in a statement.
Construction will kick off in the week beginning Oct. 8 along the west side of Main Street between Cleveland and Vesta avenues, down to the city limits.
Ribbon-cutting on the finished project is slated for eight months later, in May.
Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham is among those anticipating the springtime finish.
“We are so excited about transforming our downtown district,” she said in a statement. “Through this project, our downtown will become a more accessible and pedestrian-friendly, beautiful destination for all to enjoy.”
Wiggins said workers will widen sidewalks to between 10 and 12 feet in width.
They will install street furniture like benches and trashcans, as well as new lighting and landscaping.
City Special Projects Coordinator Geneasa Elias has oversight of the project, which she called a “first step” toward a greater vision.
“What makes this project special is that it’s part of the beginning of beautifying our downtown and truly turning it into a pedestrian-friendly business corridor,” she said in a statement.
Pedestrian improvements at intersections and parallel parking spaces are also on tap, influencing the half-mile amble’s ambience and safeguarding drivers.
“This will create a walkable community from our downtown to our city limits along Main Street,” Elias said. “It’s also a safety enhancement program because the parking on Main Street will be converted from angle parking to parallel parking, which allows drivers to see oncoming traffic when they’re pulling in and out of those parking spaces.”
Several stakeholders deserve kudos for making the streetscape happen, she said.
Elias cited teamwork and support from Georgia Department of Transportation representatives.
“GDOT representatives and their consultants have been very supportive in making sure this project starts and completes construction,” she said.
Key players also include area businesses.
Elias said special cooperation came from owners of the Family Dollar and CVS Pharmacy on Main Street, who used their own funding to widen nearby sidewalks to complement the project design plans.
City staff worked on internal coordination amongst themselves, she said, thanking the employees of water and sewer, finance, public works, fire, police and power departments.
Appropriately, the East Point Main Street program will notify business owners when to expect the jackhammers and striped barrels at their doorsteps.
“The city and contractor for the project will work together to develop a phasing schedule to notify businesses along Main Street when construction will begin in their area,” Wiggins said. “Residents will also be notified of construction and lane closures on the city’s website, social media sites and the Access East Point app.”
The contractor for the project is Lilburn-based Construction 57 Inc.
Southeastern Engineering is providing design engineering.
Wiggins said funding for the project is a $1.25 million award through GDOT from the Federal Highway Administration for construction with a local match from the city of $312,500 for design engineering costs and right of way acquisition.
The process began in 2002, she said, when the city applied for a GDOT transportation enhancement grant.