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Church Street cycle track construction moving closer to Commerce Drive

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Church Street cycle track construction moving closer to Commerce Drive

Church Street cycle track construction in the city of Decatur on Feb. 6, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The Church Street cycle track construction is inching closer to the intersection with Commerce Drive in Decatur. Drivers can expect to see many traffic cones in the area, rerouting traffic to limited lanes.

The project is about 25% completed at this point, Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said. Construction began around Dec. 1, 2021, and Lewallen, the contractor for the project, has about another 13 months to finish the work.

Lewallen Construction will also build the Commerce Drive segment connecting Clairemont with Church.

“The project limits are the Medlock/Forkner intersection and the Clairemont/Commerce Drive intersection,” he said. “The project includes intersection improvements to reduce crossing distances and eliminate vehicle ‘slip’ lanes at the Clairemont/Commerce and Church Street/Commerce intersections, permanently reduces Church Street to 2 vehicle lanes, with new, wider sidewalks and a one-way ‘cycle track’ (also known as a “protected bike lane”) on each side of Commerce Drive and Church Street.”

New trees will also be planted along Church Street to help turn the corridor into a parkway.

Saxon previously said that “all construction of this type is noisy, messy and inconvenient.”

Work is expected to be finished in June 2023.

A rendering of the Church Street cycle track. Image obtained via the city of Decatur

The Decatur City Commission approved the project plans in May 2021. But the project began about 11 years ago. The city went through various rounds of funding options with the Georgia Department of Transportation. When the city had the plans completed about three years ago, it took them the remaining time to obtain all the necessary construction easements, Saxon said at the May 3, 2021, city commission meeting.

The bike and pedestrian improvements on Church Street will complete the final segment of dedicated bike travel lanes from the PATH Stone Mountain trail.

The on-street parking on Church Street won’t exist when the cycle track project is finished.

“Most of the on-street parking will be removed when the cycle track is built on Church Street,” Saxon previously said. “There will be [three to four] permanent spaces located right at Glenlake Pool and about 10 permanent spaces just south of Geneva Street, but the cycle track generally will take up the area now used for on-street parking.”

The city will redirect Glenlake visitors to park on the cemetery drive next to Glenlake Park if on-site parking isn’t available.

“This area can provide parking for 30-35 vehicles and is accessible via a short walkway directly to Glenlake,” Saxon said. “There is also a smaller parking lot near the dog park at the end of Norris Street. This information will be communicated to all city tennis teams as well as opposing teams from outside of the city.”

The total project budget is $3.2 million, with $2.6 million in federal funds allocated by the Atlanta Regional Commission through its Livable Centers Initiative grant process, and a $600,000 local match from the city of Decatur.

Editor Dan Whisenhunt and writer Cathi Harris contributed to this article.

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