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County receives federal funding for westside Athens corridor

ACCGov) announces the receipt of an $800,000 planning grant through the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Grant Program in partnership with the U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT). 

The grant will support planning for the corridor that includes Hawthorne Avenue from Prince Avenue to West Broad Street, Alps Road from West Broad Street to Baxter Street, and Oglethorpe Avenue from Prince Avenue to Mitchell Bridge Road. The ACCGov Transportation and Public Works Department will manage the project. 

The project is aimed at addressing transportation inequities and enhancing connectivity in the corridor and with the surrounding communities. The federal funding will help with the planning process to design and recommend measures to enhance safety, connectivity, and accessibility for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and individuals with impaired mobility. Additionally, projects receiving RCN funding cannot add travel lanes for single-occupant passenger vehicles or expand highway areas. 

"The corridors along Hawthorne Avenue, Alps Road, and Oglethorpe Avenue have long faced challenges related to safety, accessibility, and equity," said ACCGov Transportation and Public Works Director Stephen Bailey. "These corridors are more than just roads, they are lifelines linking our neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions. By investing in these vital connections, we are not only improving transportation infrastructure, but also laying the foundation for a more vibrant and interconnected Athens for generations to come." 

Planning for the project is expected to begin in the fall of 2024. As the project moves forward, the ACCGov Transportation and Public Works Department will engage residents, businesses, and stakeholders throughout the planning process for these corridors. A potential timeline for design and construction of improvements would be developed as part of the planning process.  

Previously designed improvements to the Oglethorpe Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue intersection are proceeding and are planned for construction in the fall of 2024. They will tie into other corridor improvements implemented as part of this program. 

The ACCGov Transportation and Public Works Department’s mission is to provide safe and efficient roadways, bikeways, and walkways; traffic control and guidance systems; and public stormwater collection and conveyance systems to the Athens-Clarke County community. For more information on the department, visit www.accgov.com/publicworks or call 706-613-3440.

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