Downtown Infrastructure & Streetscape Improvements

Update - July 31, 2015

Bids for construction are due on August 13, 2015. Depending on the content of the bids, the Mayor and Commission may vote to accept one as early as September 1.

This does not mean, however, that construction will necessarily begin immediately. A timeline for construction-related topics has not been determined.

We are currently navigating a number of processes before finalizing any construction dates. That being said, when or if construction begins in the fall, it is most likely going to involve light work, surveying, and utility location.

The majority of the heavy work would begin in early 2016. We will be in touch with further details prior to that work beginning.

Please note that even if any work does begin in the fall, provisions are included in our contracts to require all contractors to wrap up their week's work and clean up and secure construction areas on Thursday afternoons prior to UGA gameday weekends and not resume any work until Monday.

Similar requirements are in place for key shopping timeframes as well, including the holiday season.

Thank you for continuing to show interest in our downtown improvement projects, and know that we will provide updates and more specific details as we move through the bidding and planning processes.

Downtown Infrastructure & Streetscape Project Phase 2 Delayed

Originally scheduled to begin in January 2015, Phase 2 of the SPLOST-funded Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscape Project was delayed as a result of no private contractors submitting bids to Athens-Clarke County by the November 2014 deadline to undertake the project.

"This is the first time in more than 20 years of working in project management that I've seen zero bids submitted for a project," says SPLOST Project Manager Derek Doster. This unusual situation was due in part to the unique nature of downtown, the construction time frame, the complicated physical environment, requirement specifications for firms interested in bidding on the project, and the current workloads of qualified firms.

Athens-Clarke County staff considered contractor feedback as it approached re-bidding the project. The refined process allowed some flexibility while continuing to ensure the qualifications of contractors and strives to minimize disruption to downtown business owners, residents and visitors.

A full timeline would not be known until proposals are submitted. Any work done during fall 2015 will be on an altered schedule to help minimize disruptions and be sensitive to fall activities, including UGA football gamedays and key shopping windows.

Phase 2 of the Downtown Infrastructure and Streetscape Project is designed to install and improve stormwater facilities and the streetscape on the East Clayton Street area between Thomas Street and Lumpkin Street and on North Jackson Street between East Washington Street and East Broad Street.

Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2014 by the ACC Public Utilities Department, and included improving water and sewer infrastructure in this area downtown. The overall program was divided into two phases based on downtown business owners' feedback.

Phase 2 project work will include pavement/sidewalk removal, tree replacement, storm drain installation, pedestrian lighting installation, pavement/sidewalk replacement, removal of multi-space parking stations, installation of new parking meters, and installation of streetscape amenities such as benches, bike racks and planters.

Some private utility companies did begin improvements and installations for their systems beginning in January 2015, which resulted in possible short-term lane and sidewalk closures. Private utility companies include power, cable and telecommunications providers.

Area Affected

  • East Clayton Street between North Lumpkin Street & North Thomas Street
  • North Jackson Street between East Broad Street & East Washington Street
  • Wall Street

Activities Include (2014)

  • Pavement / sidewalk removal as needed
  • Tree removal as needed
  • Water main installation
  • Water main testing / disinfecting
  • Service / fire system connections to new water main
  • Select repairs to sanitary sewer main
  • Sanitary sewer service replacement as needed
  • Pavement / sidewalk repair as needed
Traffic lane and on-street parking area closures are anticipated during the work. All activities are to be staged for as minimal disruption as possible.

Timeline - Storm Drain & Streetscape Improvements (2015)

  • To be developed further upon final plans and consultation with contractor when selected.

Activities Include (2015)

  • Pavement / sidewalk removal as needed
  • Tree removal
  • Storm drain installation
  • Pedestrian lighting installation
  • Non-ACC utility improvements
  • Pavement / sidewalk replacement
  • Tree replacement
  • Final streetscape enhancements
Traffic lane and on-street parking area closures are anticipated during the work. All activities are to be staged for as minimal disruption as possible.

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