Council on Wednesday voted 7-0 in favor of spending $344,500 to purchase slivers of land from four property owners along Franklin Road to advance the project.
The city is working steadily toward its goal of revitalizing the 1.5 mile-long section of Franklin Road running between South Marietta Parkway and Delk Road with a streetscape project that will add sidewalks and a biking path to the road, said Dan Conn, the city’s public works director.
Sidewalks have already been added to the section of the road 0.3 miles long between South Marietta Parkway and Twin Brooks Drive, Conn said. Improvements have also been made to the intersection of Delk Road and Franklin Road.
“All of (the construction) helps what we’re trying to do to revitalize Franklin Road,” said Councilman Philip Goldstein, who represents the area.
Wednesday’s vote gets the next part of the project underway to add sidewalks to a half-mile stretch of the road between Twin Brooks Drive and Wood Glenn Apartments at 875 Franklin Road, Conn said.
The council is purchasing four portions of properties and one sign in the 600 to 800 blocks of Franklin Road.
Goldstein said this section of the project will be good for those who walk in the area.
“It is important because it improves the safety of the roadway and also make it easier for pedestrians to travel as well as make it more appealing,” Goldstein said.
The city is paying the landowners along Franklin Road to build on the strip of their land running next to the street.
“We’re almost done (purchasing) for this particular segment of the project,” Mayor Steve Tumlin said.
Conn said the city is expected to finish buying land by the end of this year and construction on the project is expected to start in the spring of 2015.
When the project is finished, Franklin Road will have sidewalks on both sides of the road and an 8-to-10-foot-wide multi-use trail on one side, Conn said.
There is a sidewalk on the east side of the road right now, and the trail will be added to that side. In addition, a sidewalk will be built on the west side of the road, and an 18-foot median will be installed along that portion of the road, Conn said.
The project will also add landscaping with brick accents and decorative street lights to the sides of Franklin Road.
The funding for the streetscape and sidewalk project comes from the 2011 special purpose local option sales tax, which will fund 20 percent, along with a grant from the Livable Centers Initiative, operated by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which will fund 80 percent.
The mayor said the city might have to take two pieces of land by eminent domain, which allows the city to take property if it is to be used for public facilities, but that decision is not absolute yet.