Major Buckhead Roads and Sidewalks to Begin Soon
As fall approaches, so will a series of major construction projects that, over the next few months, will begin to transform the streets and sidewalks of Lenox, North Buckhead and Buckhead Village.
A widening of Piedmont Road, a new roundabout on Phipps Boulevard and a walk along Lenox Square will be among the projects that will start at the end of this year or in the first half of 2022. All are highly anticipated projects led by the Buckhead Community Improvement District. , a self-imposed group of commercial property owners in the central business district who spend money on transportation improvements, public safety and beautification. The city and the Georgia Department of Transportation are other partners.
The following updates are courtesy of Tony Peters, Director of Capital Projects and Programs at IADC.
Peachtree Road Streetscape: Maple Drive to Shadowlawn Avenue
Estimated start: Fall 2021
For nearly 15 years, CID has been working on different phases of this Peachtree improvement project on either side of Ga. 400 in the heart of the business district. This is a ‘complete street’ project, which means that part of the goal is to transform it from what Peters calls a ‘road sewer’ into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly pavement while being attractive. Among the amenities: wide sidewalks, cycle paths, turning lanes at signposted intersections, granite and hardwood borders and medians, “landscaping in seasonal colors”, street lights and street furniture. The project also includes the burying of above-ground utility lines for aesthetic purposes.
Two major phases of the project have already been completed: between Ga. 400 and just after Piedmont Road in 2007, and between Ga. 400 and Roxboro Road in 2012. This third and final phase is a relatively short section between Maple Drive and Shadowlawn Avenue, at the border of Buckhead Village and Buckhead Forest. Construction is estimated at 15 months.
Phipps Boulevard Roundabout / Wieuca Road
Estimated start: 1st quarter 2022
Famous for vehicle crashes, this complicated and winding intersection was recommended to be replaced by a large roundabout in 2019 after years of controversial studies. The proposed roundabout, currently in the engineering design phase, would have two lanes as well as dedicated bicycle lanes and sidewalks.
The design also includes improvements to North Buckhead Park, a pocket park in the north corner of the existing intersection.
Lenox Road Streetscape Phase 1
Estimated start: End of Q1 2022
This is another multi-phased “Complete Street” project, this time involving Lenox Road. The first phase includes a multi-use trail designed as a walk along the west side of Lenox between Peachtree Road and the Lenox MARTA station on East Paces Ferry Road.
Widening of the Piedmont road
Estimated start: 2nd quarter 2022
Piedmont is already a major artery, with five lanes wide between Lenox and Peachtree Roads, where it runs between five and seven lanes. This project will widen this section to seven lanes, while adding a 10 to 12 foot wide multi-use path on the west side of the street. The idea of the enlargement is “to help deal with vehicles more efficiently, ultimately calming traffic,” said Peters.
Other sidewalk projects
CID has two other streetscape projects underway.
The Peachtree Road sidewalk improvements The project started in February and is planned as a “multi-year” project. Addressing Peachtree between Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Maple Drive, it will replace the walkway pavers with a concrete sidewalk and decorative landscaped pavers with a curb. The idea is to improve both aesthetics and safety. One of the reasons given during the discussions of the CID board of directors was that the landscaped paving stones could or had been used as weapons during the riots and looting of May 2020 in the neighborhood.
The West Village streetscape improvements The project is improving sidewalks, street furniture and in some cases stormwater infrastructure in the area roughly bounded by the East Andrews Drive and Roswell and West Paces Ferry roads. Streetscape works include street lighting and trees.
Construction began in 2020 and has already been completed on Early Street, Irby Avenue and Paces Ferry Place. As of the last week of September 2021, sidewalk construction on Cains Hill Place was complete, “coming soon” paving and stormwater work on East Andrews were complete, with paving due to be completed that week. The City is carrying out stormwater improvements on Roswell Road. CID plans to begin construction and paving of sidewalks in the first quarter of 2022, when this stormwater work is completed.