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On Monday, July 28, 2014, Macon-Bibb County celebrated the start of improvement efforts for the Second Street Corridor Vision Block with a Groundbreaking Ceremony on the street. While construction is happening, the block of Second Street between Cherry and Poplar Streets will be closed.
“Everything we’re doing along this block will be to encourage foot and bicycle traffic,” says Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert. “We want to expand the walkable areas of our Downtown, and that means bicycle lanes, shade trees, places to sit, and safer parking.”
While construction is happening, the block of Second Street between Cherry and Poplar Streets will be closed. Two lanes of Second Street are expected to reopen in 10-12 weeks, with the complete street reopening in three to four months. The parking deck exit from the SunTrust Building will remain open, and crews will post signs during construction on which way to turn to exit safely.
The closure is only for vehicle traffic. People will still be able to walk along the sidewalks, and businesses along that block will remain open.
Second Street Corridor Vision Block
At the end of this portion of the project, the Vision Block will have bike lanes, reverse angle parking, landscaping, shade trees, benches, improved sidewalks, an irrigation system, and more. TY Lin International created the design for the Vision Block, and Chris R. Sheridan & Co. is the contractor on this project.
“As a business owner in downtown Macon it is exciting to see everyone working together for a common goal and that is to make downtown Macon a better place to live, work and play” says Ricky Hill, owner of the Crazy Bull. “It’s exciting to see all the new projects coming together and the Second Street corridor will bring in a lot of interest from people wanting to live in a safe place and with other businesses looking at joining our downtown family.”
In addition to the work being completed with SPLOST funds, Georgia Power will be taking this opportunity to upgrade and improve its electrical system to meet the growth taking place Downtown.
“This investment is just one example of our commitment to meeting our customers’ needs by delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy,” says Thomas J. Wicker, Region Vice President for Georgia Power. “We are pleased to be involved in the positive changes taking place in Macon-Bibb County.”
Businesses to Remain Open
In anticipation of the closure, Project Manager Clay Murphey and Main Street Macon Manager Steven Fulbright have been meeting with business owners to answer questions, provide information, and help ensure a smooth transition. Access to businesses will be created, and significant sidewalk work will occur outside of business hours to help minimize the disruption.
“We’ll continue to work with the businesses and offices along Second Street to help them with this transition,” says Fulbright. “We recognize that a construction site can create a disruption, but the end result to this area will be well worth the effort as we create a much greater space for people.”
Georgia Power is assisting with communication by posting signs letting people know that businesses along the block will remain open. Businesses in that area include: Angels At Home; Bert Maxwell Furniture; Butler Snow, LLP; Cunningham & Rowland; Fashion 365; Ginger Stir-Fry & Grill; Jones, Cork, & Miller LLP; Kali Dance Studio for the Arts; L.A. Real Estate Developers; Roasted Café and Lounge; Sleep Medicine – Central Georgia; SunTrust Bank; The Crazy Bull; The Willow Tree; and the U.S. Internal Revenue Services.
About the Second Street Corridor
The Second Street Corridor redevelopment and revitalization project is funded by the voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Eight million dollars was designated to improve the area that stretches from East Macon through Downtown, connecting to Little Richard Penniman and Mercer University Boulevards, and creating a gateway into Macon at the interchange of Mercer University Boulevard.
Macon-Bibb County is currently planning for the creation of Mid-City Square, a new park to be located at the intersection of Second and Pine Streets. TY Lin is currently working on the design of the bridge that will connect Second Street with Little Richard Penniman Boulevard. Long-term, Macon-Bibb County wants to extend the Corridor further west along Mercer University Boulevard to the Macon Mall and Middle Georgia State College.