Doraville was awarded a $1.5 million grant, along with a $1.5 million loan for the project. The new thoroughfare will be a half-mile stretch running through the site. As part of the redevelopment of the former plant site, the West Avenue Connector will be designed to ease traffic congestion on Peachtree Road, as well as to create local access to the 165-acre site connecting Motors Industrial Blvd. to the other end of the site at Peachtree Road.The project is part of a number of previous comprehensive plans including 2010 Downtown Doraville Master Plan Livable Centers Initiative, DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan, the Buford Highway Multimodal Corridor Study, etc. Considered a significant transportation initiative of the redevelopment for the General Motors Plant site, the two construction phases will include:
- A half-mile, four-lane connector road connectivity from Motors Industrial Boulevard to Peachtree Road for Phase I
- A quarter-mile roadway connector from Peachtree Road to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (PID) for Phase II
The four-lane thoroughfare will include 10-foot bicycle lanes and 12-foot sidewalks, curb cuts onto Peachtree Road, improved pedestrian and vehicular access along Motors Industrial Boulevard, reinstallation of traffic signs at existing curb cuts, LED lighting and landscape improvements. These transportation upgrades will assist in reducing congestions through this alternative vehicular access route for the top end of I-285 and PID, according to the plan description.
Once Phase II is completed, it will provide connectivity to the highly congested PIB creating local access from the east side of Doraville to the west side of the City of Chamblee and potential economic development for the distressed area. Ultimately, resulting in the connectivity between Chamblee and Doraville that promises increases in walkability and mobility and decreasing congestion.
Luke Howe, Economic Development Director for the City of Doraville told The Post this work symbolizes the first infrastructure project for the site. Howe says demolition on the site is now 100% complete and any environmental issues have been taken care of as far as this specific project goes.
“This is a great project that’s essential to the development,” said Howe. “It will ultimately connect two state routes as well, so that combined with the fact that it’s relatively quick and inexpensive makes it a win-win for all parties.”
Based on the application the City of Doraville submitted to SRTA/GTIB, the development team for the West Avenue Connector project includes the City of Doraville and Doraville Sixty, LLC. The team has provided funding for the conceptual studies, economic studies, environmental investigations and remediation, and demolition of the existing facilities through Kimley-Horn at a cost of approximately $102,000. Preliminary engineering is estimated to cost $450,000 or more, and Kimley-Horn will serve as the design engineer, providing the concepts and early cost estimates.
GTIB funding will go towards the construction of the project, while the balance of funding through various sources of approved tax allocation, GDOT Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) funds allocated to the City of Doraville and Doraville’s stormwater funds. Doraville Sixty is providing any additional monies required for completion of the roadway project.
The Phase I project planning stage began in November of 2015. While it was anticipated that construction of the project was estimated to start in May, the project is now heading into the bidding process stage and is expected to take up to 60 days.
The complete application Doraville submitted is below.