The city is in the midst of the Marietta Road Streetscape Project, a $1.8 million construction undertaking to overhaul the well-trafficked local route.
The project will install new curbs, gutters, storm drains, handicapped-accessible sidewalks and other improvements between the road’s intersections with Morris Hill Road and Dr. John T. Pettit Street, according to City Engineer Joby West.
Enhanced landscaping and upgrades to the traffic light at Hickory Flat Highway, just off Exit 16 on Interstate 575, are also planned.
Lilburn-based company CMES Inc. won the contract for the job, which began earlier this year and is expected to continue until summer or fall of 2015, West said.
Acting City Manager Glen Cummins, also a city councilman, said the project is being funded 80 percent by the state of Georgia, with Canton picking up the rest of the tab.
As the work progresses, lane closures and delays will—and have already—come to Marietta Road regularly.
“I imagine Marietta Road’s going to be a little bottle-necked every once in a while,” Cummins said.
But while delays and lane closures will continue, West said he doesn’t “expect any problems.”
In addition to the Marietta Road Streetscape Project, downtown Canton is seeing similar work on the Main Street Pedestrian Connector Project, near City Hall.
The Main Street project is meant to improve pedestrian mobility on the south end of Canton’s core by reworking curbs, sidewalks and installing new lighting. Georgia Development Partners is charging about $1 million for the project, which is also an 80-20 split between the state and city, according to West.
Georgia Development Partners previously did similar improvements in the Waleska Street area of downtown, including the Waleska Street monument welcoming people into downtown.
The project is expected to be complete in fall of this year, West said.
While all the work might create some frustrations for drivers, Matthew Thomas, Canton’s economic development coordinator, said it will pay off in the end for the “high-activity centers of the city” and the city in general.
“Both projects will make our city even more accommodating and attractive for livability, business activity and connectivity,” Thomas said. “Improving our road infrastructure is important because it is the physical support system necessary for transportation and the delivery of goods and services.”