Eight long years after it was set to be funded by Atlanta’s RENEW bond initiative in 2015, a Complete Streets project described by city officials as transformative is gearing up to finally move forward.
According to Upper Westside Community Improvement District officials, a groundbreaking ceremony for the Howell Mill Complete Street Project is slated to take place Tuesday, with a goal of making one of Atlanta’s most rapidly developing corridors friendlier to non-motorists and more efficient overall.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, ATLDOT Commissioner Solomon Caviness, and longtime project advocate Atlanta City Councilmember Dustin Hillis are expected to lead the ceremony.
“Howell Mill Road is the backbone of the Upper Westside District,” Elizabeth Hollister, Upper Westside CID’s executive director, said in today’s announcement. “This project brings critical upgrades to improve bike, pedestrian, and vehicular movement.”
Specifically, the Complete Street redo calls for resurfacing Howell Mill Road from just north of Collier Road down to Marietta Street, a distance of about two and ½ miles. Along the route the city plans to synchronize traffic signals with technology upgrades and build raised bike lanes from Forrest Street (about a block north of Atlanta Water Works, near Urban Tree Cidery) to all points south along Howell Mill.
Other upgrades will focus on sidewalk repairs and additional safety improvements, officials said today.
The city has selected construction partners P2K and Lefko Construction in a joint venture as general contractors to build the $21.5-million Howell Mill Complete Street project.
The Atlanta City Council approved legislation in September to fund the full project.
Following that decision, Hillis said the city will be piloting an incentive program with the Howell Mill project to see large capital project completed within 12 to 18 months of contracts being awarded.
Should that schedule hold true, the Howell Mill project would wrap sometime between fall next year and the second quarter of 2025.
Howell Mill’s Complete Streets overhaul was once expected to begin in 2017—adding bike lanes, upgraded sidewalks and bus stops, fresh pavement, and new turn lanes—but was later axed from Renew Atlanta’s $250 million project list. Until September, it still hadn’t been fully funded.
“Since being elected as the District 9 councilmember, getting the Howell Mill Complete Street Project fully funded and to the construction phase has been one of my highest transportation priorities,” said Hillis in a prepared statement.
Since 2018, more than 1,100 apartments and townhomes have delivered in the Howell Mill blocks between 14th and 10th streets alone, with hundreds more in the pipeline. Star Metals Offices, a new office building, and the mixed-use district that is Interlock’s first phase have also come together in the same area.
Despite the surge of private development, the three-lane roadway snaking through neighborhoods such as Home Park and Marietta Street Artery has been mostly unchanged in recent years, apart from a few new crosswalks.
Follow us on social media:
• Home Park news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)