Streetscape finally nearing

Published 6:09 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More than four years after it was first proposed, the second phase of Bainbridge’s Streetscape project is finally close to starting.

At their Tuesday meeting, the Bainbridge City Council approved entering into a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation to receive approximately $650,000 in federal stimulus package money to go toward Streetscape. The city will contribute about $300,000 of its own money to the project, said Amanda Glover, director of the city’s Community Development Division.

The first phase of Streetscape, began and completed over about 11 months during 2003, used $500,000 of federal money and about $125,000 of the city’s money to improve the overall appearance of walkways on most of Broad Street north of Shotwell Street. Priority areas for Phase 2 include the remainder of North Broad Street not done during Phase 1, the downtown portions of Water, West and Troup streets, and several other side streets if possible, Glover said.

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Work done in the first phase of Streetscape included cosmetic and functional improvements such as new sidewalks, red brick pavers, benches, trash receptacles, landscaping and street lamps, Glover said. A section of Water Street near the Decatur County Courthouse will be tested as part of the Streetscape’s second phase to see whether the street’s fading asphalt can be removed to expose the brick pavers lying underneath.

After the meeting, City Manager Chris Hobby said the start of Streetscape Phase 2 is still at least two to three months away.

Mayor Mark Harrell said city officials plan to update downtown businesses and other interested persons through a newsletter produced by the city’s Main Street department.

Also speaking after the meeting, veteran Councilman Luther Conyers said he believes Streetscape will continue an ongoing “revitalization” of downtown Bainbridge. He said the aesthetic improvements will blend in with improvements that have already been made to Willis Park and downtown buildings, hopefully drawing more visitors.