A Complete Street project in the pipeline since before President Barack Obama’s first term is gearing up to actually start happening—with growing pains for Buckhead motorists expected in the short term.
Plans for the Piedmont Road Complete Street project were first cooked up by the Buckhead Community Improvement District as part of the 2008 Piedmont Area Transportation Plan.
After 15 years and the completion of designs by Croy Engineering, Buckhead CID officials report this week the Complete Streets overhaul is officially underway.
The Piedmont Road blocks in question span from Peachtree Road to Lenox Road, a section of central Buckhead where high-rise office and multifamily developments such as Terminus and Modera Prominence have brought hundreds of new residents in recent years.
The project’s goal, according to Buckhead CID, is twofold: to enhance pedestrian and cycling mobility on Piedmont Road while also expanding the street to improve traffic flow.
That means Piedmont Road will be widened to three vehicle lanes in each direction, with a new dedicated left turn lane installed.
Georgia Power plans to finish relocating four large transmission poles along Piedmont Road by the end of January, a process that started last fall, according to Buckhead CID.
Following that, Georgia Power will relocate above-ground distribution lines currently attached to wood poles and bury them underground, hopefully setting a new precedent for every major Atlanta construction project to come.
Burying the power-lines is scheduled to start next month and wrap up in March.
Following that, sometime in March, the process of widening Piedmont Road and installing an eight to 10-foot-wide, multi-use path will begin, per Buckhead CID estimates.
But first come those growing pains.
Buckhead CID is forecasting the area between Peachtree and Lenox roads will see a “significantly increase in traffic congestion and... major disruptions to businesses and buildings along Piedmont Road” in coming months. They’re strongly advising—and in fact, incentivizing—drivers to avoid Piedmont Road between the two busy thoroughfares during construction.
Alternate routes include Ga. Highway 400 north/south and local roadways such as Roswell, Peachtree, and Habersham roads, as well as Tower Place Drive.
Officials are also advising Buckhead dwellers to consider alternate means of getting around—MARTA transit, rideshare, walking, biking, and scooters—for the duration of construction.
For the foreseeable future, expect lane closures—one lane at a time, per project officials—daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No timeline estimate for project completion was provided this week.
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