Long lines of cars wait to travel down McDonough Street because of Streetscape-related intersection and road closures in the December 2010 photo. Jonesboro is preparing to begin the second phase of the project by late spring or early summer.
JONESBORO Drivers who need to get through downtown Jonesboro can expect the return of an old source of traffic congestion by this summer.
Traffic was sometimes tied up by construction equipment two years ago, when the city was building the first phase of its “Streetscape” beautification project. Lanes and intersections were closed occasionally as work crews put in new sidewalks, new crosswalks and new stretches of Main and McDonough streets.
Well, guess what?
Streetscape Phase II is coming and although Mayor Joy Day expects less congestion this time around because less major intersections are involved, drivers still need to be prepared to dodge construction equipment again.
“We’re hoping to bid it out in April and maybe break ground in either May or June,” Day said.
The new Streetscape phase will expand the project southward to South Avenue and northward to North Avenue on Main Street. It will also be expanded to Johnson Street and Turner Road on McDonough Street. Construction will likely take up to eight months to complete.
Day said construction is expected to cost approximately $2 million, which will be paid for with transportation grants and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
“We’re hoping it will come in lower than we budgeted for,” Day said. “The last few projects we bid out have come in lower than expected which has been a good sign for us. If that happens, we might be able to another sidewalk up along North Main Street in front of the post office.”
The mayor said the city had to wait on the Georgia Department of Transportation approval for different aspects of the project. However, she said those issues have mostly been resolved and she plans to meet with the city engineer next week to discuss the project.
As was the case with phase I, the second phase will include the burying of utilities along both streets and the installation new Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks, crosswalks and new street lamps.
“We’ve signed two of the contracts for the burying of the utilities and we’ve gotten permission to do work on all of the right-of-ways,” Day said.