On Friday, August 7, 2020, Macon-Bibb County held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open the Second Street Corridor Connect, a major infrastructure project that provides the connection between different areas of the community’s urban core. The event was held at the top of the Connector, showing the view of Downtown. The road opened to cars, cyclists, walkers, and runners later in the day.

 

Click here to view photos from the day.

Speakers at the event included  Mayor Robert Reichert, District 2 Commissioner Larry Schlesinger, Mercer University President Dr. Bill Underwood, SPLOST Advisory Chair Theron Ussery, Bike Walk Macon, Sheridan Construction President & CEO Christy Kovac, Bike Walk Macon Executive Director Rachel Umana. You can watch the event here:

 

Second Street Corridor Connector Ribbon-Cutting from MaconBibbTV on Vimeo.

“We have been working on this connection for many years, and I’m delighted that we get to celebrate the connection we identified as being a major part of our Downtown’s and surrounding neighborhood’s revitalization,” says Mayor Reichert. “We are bringing our neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, government services, and entertainment district closer together with a bikeable, walkable, and safe corridor.”

About the Second Street Corridor

The Second Street Corridor was started with funding from 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 gateways into Macon-Bibb at either end. 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.

The block of Second Street between Cherry and Poplar Streets was improved and designated as the Vision Block for the Corridor to show people what will the entire street will look like. It features bike lanes, reverse angle parking, landscaping, shade trees, benches, improved sidewalks, an irrigation system, and more. In addition to the work being completed with SPLOST funds, Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light, and the Macon Water Authority used this opportunity to upgrade and improve its electrical system to meet the growth taking place Downtown. This block of improvements was then extended down Second Street to the future Mid-City Square using state transportation grants.

Macon-Bibb County and its partners have also purchased several properties for the future creation of Mid-City Square, a new park located at the intersection of Second and Pine Streets. Additionally, Macon-Bibb bought the property where the former Boys & Girls Club used to be located and created Pinnacle Park for the neighborhood. It offers trails, benches, and a great view of Downtown.

Using Tax Allocation District bond funding, Macon-Bibb built a signature pedestrian bridge over Mercer University Drive that now serves as a gateway into the city. Its construction helped bring almost $50 million in investment to the Tindall Heights area.

About the Forward Together Strategic Plan

The redevelopment and revitalization of the Second Street Corridor is a major project in Macon-Bibb County’s Forward Together Strategic Plan. This project is identified in the Infrastructure Improvement Strategic Focus Area, while the Vision Block is a part of Safe Neighborhoods and Safe Neighborhoods Area. The creation of greenspace and parks (including MidCity Square and Pinnacle Park) will improve the Quality of Life for residents, visitors, and employees all along the Corridor.

In January 2014, Macon-Bibb County began working with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government to develop the first Forward Together Strategic Plan. This process lasted more than a year and involved multiple retreats, work sessions, and meetings with department heads, organizations, and stakeholders. The planning process was funded with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

This process helped develop the consolidated government’s new Mission and Vision statements, as well as identify five Strategic Focus areas that are helping focus service delivery, programs, and initiatives: Economic and Community Development; Safe Neighborhoods and Safe Communities; Efficient and Effective Government; Infrastructure Improvement; and Quality of Life.