Avondale Estates receives funds for U.S. 278 redesign projectUS 278 in Avondale Estates. Source: Wikimedia Commons
The City of Avondale Estates says it has received $128,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission to complete the first phase of the redesign of U.S. 278, the main road that runs through the city.
“The City of Avondale Estates received $128,000 from the ARC as part of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to complete Phase I of the redesign of U.S. Highway 278, which includes the engineering of pedestrian improvements as outlined in the tentative design that came out of the 2015 Feasibility Study,” a press release from the city says. “The City will hold public meetings as the design becomes more realistic. The total project cost is $2.8 million for engineering, right-of-way acquistion (as needed) and construction. Since the City of Avondale Estates is an LCI community, additional applications for Phases 2 and 3 are not needed. The additional funds will be allocated based on project progress and availability of funds.”
The city will also have to put up $32,000 in matching funds, according to city planner Keri Stevens.
The city in the past had discussed a “road diet” for U.S. 278, reducing its five lanes to three.
That project appears to be off the table, according to Mayor Jonathan Elmore. He said when the city submitted a grant request for the road improvements last spring, the Georgia Department of Transportation signaled it wasn’t interested in pursuing road diets anywhere.
“What we understood, the person that was more or less in charge of making the decision had zero inclinations toward doing road diets anywhere, so we submitted for no road diet,” Elmore said.
He said the city’s plan A is, “no road diet but with sidewalk improvements and some median strips.”
Stevens said that initially the city had considered both a roundabout and a road diet. Both are unlikely to happen– the roundabout because the community doesn’t support it and the road diet because GDOT doesn’t support it.
Instead, she said the city is pursuing a sidewalk that will extend all the way from Ashton Place to Sams Crossing and medians, which she described as “refuge islands.”
“There’ll be some kind of controlled median crossing, rapid flashing beacon or HAWK system,” Stevens said. “They’ll be fairly large refuge islands.”
She said the funding will be available in July and the city is working on a request for proposal to do the engineering study.
“We have 18 months to finish that,” she said. “We hope to move as quickly as possible as funds are available.”