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Final Church Street cycle track project construction to begin on Sept. 5


Final Church Street cycle track project construction to begin on Sept. 5

Church Street cycle track looking toward downtown Decatur on Thursday, June 15, 2023. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — Construction of the Church Street cycle track project will end soon. Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the final asphalt resurfacing will start on Church Street and extend through the project area.

The work is anticipated to be finished in about seven to 10 days, depending on the weather, according to a city website.

The paving work began in early August and included Commerce Drive from its intersection with Clairemont Avenue to its intersection with Church Street, as well as Church Street from Commerce Drive to Forkner Drive, according to a city website. The paving work is the last major phase of the Church Street cycle track project.

Some drivers in the area have noticed ponding when it rains. The installation of the new curb and sidewalks at Church Street and Commerce Drive create the ponding, Capital Projects Manager Hugh Saxon told Decaturish.

“The pavement is being milled and adjusted so that this area will drain properly after final resurfacing,” he said. “The work to address this condition started late last week and should be finished in the next few days.”

The cycle track portion of the project was completed this summer.

The cycle track project included intersection improvements at Clairemont Avenue and Commerce Drive, as well as Church Street and Commerce Drive to reduce crossing distances and remove vehicle slip lanes. Church Street was permanently reduced to two lanes, wider sidewalks have been added, and a one-way cycle track, also known as a protected bike lane, was added on each side of Commerce Drive and Church Street. New trees were planted along Church Street as well.

A substantial amount of stormwater infrastructure was also installed at the intersection of Clairemont Avenue and Commerce Drive. On-street parking on Church Street was removed as part of the project.

Commerce Drive, between Clairemont and Church, will be five lanes once the milling, repaving, and striping are complete. The lanes will be narrowed from about 13 feet to 10 feet as the cycle track has been added on both sides of the street.

“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.”

Church Street has not been resurfaced since it was built, Saxon previously told Decaturish.

“It was widened from a two-lane to a four-lane street about 40 years ago,” Saxon said. “Now, we’re narrowing it back down to two lanes. It has not been repaved in that period, and it is in very poor condition. There are a lot of cracks. Our engineering staff thinks it’s at the end of its service life.”

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 a few 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.

Lewallen Construction Company is the general contractor for the over $4 million project and has built the Commerce Drive segment connecting Clairemont with Church. Most of the funding is from grants through the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

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