Armed with a $3.3 million grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission, the is about to begin a major revamp of Buford Highway near the city's center.
Suwanee’s plans call for the road to remain a two-lane highway with the
addition of sidewalks, multi-use trails, landscaped medians, additional streetscaping, operational improvements such as turn lanes, according to a city news release. Also, it will be designed to accommodate additional modes of transportation, calm existing traffic, encourage Town Center-type development, and provide safer access for pedestrians.
The process will begin with a study starting in February. Construction should begin in 2013 and take two years to complete.
“We’re not rebuilding the entire roadway itself,” Planning Division Director
Matthew Dickison said. “Rather, we’re adding elements that will make Buford Highway context-sensitive to its surrounding areas and help facilitate quality future development. This project is a key element in the city’s commitment to connecting different parts of downtown.”
Plans call for the road to be developed in three sections in a manner that respects the character of each area:
- Rural (from McGinnis Ferry Road to Davis Street): Protect the tree canopy; leave natural; add multiuse paths.
- Historic (from Davis Street to just south of Town Center): In addition to travel lanes, add bike lanes, potential parallel parking, landscaping, sidewalk/multiuse paths, potential roundabout, and space for possible sidewalk cafes.
- Town Center: Landscape medians as pedestrian refuges and for aesthetics; add bicycle lanes and sidewalks/multiuse paths; and make crosswalk improvements.
Suwanee is responsible for a 20 percent match of about $824,000, which will come from 2009 SPLOST funds, the city said. Project details and costs are subject to change as the study and engineering get under way.