Clifton Streetscape will improve access, enhance aesthetics

The first part of phase 1 of the 10-phase project will begin sometime next month at Eagle Row and Clifton Road near WHSCAB.

The first part of phase 1 of the 10-phase project will begin sometime next month at Eagle Row and Clifton Road near WHSCAB.

Clifton Streetscape, a project to improve access, safety, and aesthetics along Clifton Road, is slated to begin next month (exact start date to be announced). Starting at Haygood Drive/Eagle Row and extending to North Decatur Road, it will include widening of the road and sidewalks, repaving of Clifton Road, new landscaping, and new access points to the Clifton corridor. The project will take approximately a year to complete and coincides with the opening of the J wing of Emory University Hospital (EUH).
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Some specifics: An almost half-mile segment of Clifton Road will be resurfaced and widened, and a bike lane will be added along the east side—a “sharrow” or shared bike-vehicular lane will remain on the west side of Clifton Road. Sidewalks will be widened to eight feet, with addition of a five-foot planted strip along the curb, and trees and other plantings will be added to new medians. Street lights similar to those at Emory Village and Emory Point will be installed as well.

A new right-turn lane will be added at Clifton and North Decatur roads for westbound traffic headed toward Emory Village. A new traffic light and ingress/egress lanes also will be added at Healthgate Drive and North Decatur (currently a gated, limited access entry near the North Decatur Building). This access point will be for use primarily by Emory/Emory Healthcare faculty and staff who are accessing the parking decks along Gambrell Drive and is not intended for patients or through traffic.

These and other changes will help “calm traffic; improve safety for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers; and generally improve traffic flow for all those who travel Clifton Road each day,” says Al Herzog, senior program manager for Campus Services. He adds that Clifton Streetscape is consistent with urban design guidelines developed with Emory several years ago by the Boston-based urban design firm, Goody Clancy, to provide a framework for more vibrant public areas on Clifton Road. Clifton Streetscape is being handled by JE Dunn Construction.

Separate but concurrent project affecting traffic: As part of the construction of the EUH J wing, a new pedestrian bridge is planned for installation over Clifton Road from the new J wing to EUH, starting in July. Later, the existing bridge will be removed. Bridge installation, being done by Gay Construction, will take place over a weekend and will necessitate restricted access to a portion of Clifton Road for that weekend. During that time, general traffic will be rerouted around the work site, and ambulances and emergency room visits will be accommodated.

Patience needed and appreciated: Both the bridge and Clifton Streetscape work will necessitate extended, periodic lane closures, although much of the road regrading and resurfacing work will be done at night and on weekends.

An Emory team is dedicated to keeping the Emory community, patients, visitors, and neighbors apprised of the work schedule and lane closures to minimize impact on travel and appointment times, says Herzog. Regular updates will appear in this publication and in Emory Report, and the CliftonStreetscape.com website will serve as an ongoing schedule resource.

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