At Long Last! Final Paving Work Begins on East Howard, N. Candler and Barry St

Huzzah! I bet this news will make a lot of local residents and business owners happy.

The impact

The final stage of work on Phase 2 of the Downtown Decatur Storm Drainage Improvements project is expected to start on Wednesday, July 12. This includes milling, rebuilding, and repaving the streets in the project area, including North Candler Street, East Howard Avenue, and Barry Street.

The details

Phase 2 of the Downtown Decatur Storm Drainage Improvements includes replacement of undersized and deteriorated storm drainage facilities and will reduce or eliminate frequent flooding on private properties in the Old Decatur neighborhood. During construction, the work was expanded to include renewal of a failing sanitary sewer system in the same community. This project was originally planned almost 40 years ago, replaces some of the oldest infrastructure in metro Atlanta, and will complete major planned improvements to the upper Peavine section of the downtown drainage system. Construction commenced in July, 2016, and was expected to take up to 12 months.

How to manage

Vehicular access will be limited and on-street parking will not be available on the affected streets during the work. Pedestrian access will remain open throughout the project area. The street and paving improvements are expected to take about 2 weeks, weather permitting.

The work area is shown below. Click for larger view.

Heads Up: Key Decatur Railroad Crossings Closing Next Monday, June 19th

I’ve been avoiding these intersections already on the off-chance that they had already closed.  But apparently not.  Here we go!

From the Extreme Makeover: Downtown Decatur website

As tentatively announced in this previous post, effective the morning of Monday, June 19, CSX will begin rebuilding their crossings at Candler and McDonough Streets.

Site work will continue uninterrupted until its completion which is projected to take roughly seven days. Both intersections will be closed and will remain closed for the duration.

Completion could be delayed due to rain. Stay tuned here for updates if an extension proves necessary.

You probably don’t want to get caught up in the detour…

…better to just use an alternative crossing point elsewhere in the city.

Photo courtesy of Joel

Another Traffic Alert: N. McDonough and Howard Closed This Week

From the Extreme Makeover Downtown Decatur website.  EXTREME detours indeed!

Intersection Improvements at the McDonough Rail Crossing

The impact

The intersection at McDonough and Howard will be closed for grading and resurfacing on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5.

Parts of the PATH Foundation’s Stone Mountain Trail near the crossing have been demolished and will be closed to bicycle traffic as well.

Additional work on both the sidewalks and the Stone Mountain Trail on East Howard will continue for the next couple of weeks. East Howard will be closed to through traffic until 3 p.m. each weekday during this period.

How to manage

There will be no traffic through the McDonough-Howard intersection this weekend, March 4 and 5. However, East and West Howard and North McDonough will be open to local traffic. Consult the applicable detour maps below (click images for larger view).

Avoid East Howard before 3 p.m. each weekday until further notice. Access during afternoon/evening rush hours will not be impacted.

Further details

This is one of the major steps necessary in rebuilding the McDonough railroad crossing. Pavement at the McDonough-Howard intersection will be raised up to 3 feet to provide a gentler slope on the north side of the crossing and an accessible path for persons in wheelchairs or those using strollers.

The entire project, which includes the rail crossings at both McDonough and Candler, will significantly improve accessibility and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, further encouraging those who live in Winnona Park, the McDonough-Adams-Kings Highway community, and other neighborhoods south of the CSX rail corridor to walk and bike into downtown Decatur.

Once CSX replaces the rail crossing itself, the crossing will include a safer route located outside the railroad gates for pedestrians and bicyclists. Presently, pedestrians and bicyclists have to share the roadway with vehicles at these crossings. New traffic signals on both crossings will allow protected left turns on all legs of the two crossings.

CSX will subsequently be rebuilding the rail portion of the project and will need to close each crossing for about one week for its work. These closings will be announced as they approach so stay tuned.

N. McDonough Streetscape Lane Shifts

The details

Most of the sidewalk improvements and preliminary storm drainage infrastructure has been completed on the west (Decatur High School) side of North McDonough. Crews are now in place to shift their work to the east side of the street beginning Sunday, March 5.

This will start with moving vehicular traffic to the west (DHS) side of North McDonough. Sections of sidewalk on the east side of McDonough will be removed and replaced with temporary walks while the new sidewalks, bio-swales and planters are built.

How to manage

Aside from any closures associated with the rail crossing, access to N. McDonough businesses and driveways will be maintained during streetscape work.

City Considers Alternatives to East Howard Ave Pedestrian & Bike Detours

easthoward2From this month’s Decatur Focus

We are considering alternatives to the pedestrian and cycling detours in place because of the closing of E. Howard Avenue between Church Street and the former Dairy Queen. First, let’s put the rumors to rest about why the street was closed.  The was done to provide a staging area for the Trinity Triangle development to limit the conflicts between construction activity and traffic on Trinity.  When construction is finished, the street will be reopened.

We originally planned to run the construction fence along the edge of the PATH trail along this block of E. Howard in order to keep it open.  However, that plan would have included a crosswalk right at the railroad tracks for pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a very unsafe situation.  Cars traveling north across the tracks have a limited view of cyclists and pedestrians as they come over the crest of the railroad crossing.  Because a portion of the sidewalk around the former Diary Queen is still intact, there is a possibility of moving the crossing slightly away from the tracks and reopening the PATH trail for a few more months.

However, with the construction of Phase V of the downtown streetscape improvements starting in early 2015 and the ongoing construction of the Trinity Triangle, this area will continue to be less safe for pedestrians and bicyclists and detours will still be needed to provide safer options.  We are looking at creative solutions to address the problem by we are going to need your patience and flexibility for the next year or so as detours and crossing locations change.

Anyone want to offer any creative solutions?  Here’s a map of the area if you need it!