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Midtown’s Complete Streets effort among three projects in metro Atlanta to receive state funding

David Pendered
Midtown, homepage Credit: Kelly Jordan

By David Pendered

Funding for a Complete Streets project along 5th Street in Midtown, new roads at the General Motors redevelopment site in DeKalb County, and a smart corridor installation in Gwinnett County were included in a basket of 19 mobility projects funded by the state.

Midtown skyline

The construction boom of office, residential and commercial construction underscores the significance of the Complete Streets project along 5th Street, according to Kevin Green, president/CEO of Midtown Alliance. Credit: Kelly Jordan

A total of $25.8 million was provided to the 19 projects through the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, which is administered by the State Road and Tollway Authority. GTIB announced the awards June 23.

Gov. Brian Kemp focused his attention on projects outside metro Atlanta that he said received 42 percent of the total funding. These areas are at risk of being left further behind the state’s urban areas in terms of advancements, including broadband Internet access, particularly in light of the impact the pandemic-related recession is having on rural Georgia. Kemp said in a statement:

  • “This year’s GTIB program represents my commitment to put Georgians first by strengthening rural Georgia through economic development and investment in their transportation network. These projects will assist in advancing regional prosperity by improving infrastructure that supplies agricultural goods to market, developing access to rural economic engines such as industrial parks, and enhancing safety through paved road connectivity.”

The governor’s focus on rural Georgia was balanced by comments from Chris Tomlinson, SRTA’s executive director, who observed:

  • “As with GTIB’s rural investment, this round also makes numerous multi-modal investments in metro Atlanta to improve mobility. Innovative projects such as infrastructure in major employment centers, roadway capacity improvements on important regional corridors that support economic development expansion and pave the way for future residential, office and retail development, along with financing innovative technology infrastructure will help to continue to move the needle in making needed transportation advancements.”

Here are highlights of three awards to projects in metro Atlanta, and the entity awarded the funding, as described in a statement from SRTA:

Midtown Alliance

Midtown, Georgia Tech

Bicycle and pedestrian safety are to be enhanced along a stretch of 5th Street as part of state funding for Midtown Alliance’s Complete Streets project. Georgia Tech’s conference center, at the southwest corner of 5th and Spring streets, is a popular parking spot for cyclists. Credit: Kelly Jordan

5th Street Complete Street. Grant of $750,000

  • “This project will upgrade 5th St. from Williams Street to Myrtle Street, a distance of 0.6 miles. Improvements include adding a 10-foot cycle track and mid-block pedestrian crossings between Williams Street and West Peachtree Street; resurfacing throughout the corridor; a new traffic signal at Williams Street and 5th Streert, and upgraded traffic signals throughout. The project supports substantial commercial and institutional investment in the area by improving the safety and efficiency of vehicular and non-vehicular travel in this high growth area.”

Midtown Alliance President/CEO Kevin Green observed in a statement:

  • “With more than 6 million square feet of office, residential and commercial development currently under construction in one square mile of Midtown, safe transportation options have never been more important. We are grateful for SRTA for awarding us this grant so we can move forward on this creative safety and mobility project that will benefit everyone.”

Assembly CID

Road and Utility Infrastructure – Phase III. Grant of $1 million; Loan of $3.5 million

  • “This project will build five new roads totaling just under 1 mile at the General Motors redevelopment site. Funds will also be used to purchase right-of-way from Norfolk Southern allowing roads to be built adjacent to the railroad tracks in the future. These roads will support economic development including new townhomes, mixed use developments and a movie theater.”

Gwinnett County

Sugarloaf Parkway Widening. Grant of $750,000

  • “This project will add an additional travel lane in each direction on Sugarloaf Parkway from Meadow Church Road to Satellite Boulevard, a distance of 0.75 miles. Dual left turn lanes and extended right turn lanes will be added at the intersection with Meadow Church Road. Smart corridor technology will also be installed as part of an innovative regional project allowing vehicle to infrastructure communications. The project improves access to the Infinite Energy Center redevelopment thereby supporting economic development and is part of a first wave of innovative transportation technology in metro Atlanta.”

 

 

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David Pendered
David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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