City employee James Hicks Jr. puts the finishing touches on the Greene Street rain garden earlier this month in downtown Milledgeville. 

The downtown streetscape Phase IV, originally slated for completion this month, has an updated projected completion date of September, according to officials with Milledgeville Public Works. 

The completion date change is due to circumstances including weather, that resulted in delays.

City Public Works Director Tim Thomas said the project is currently active in Segment 3 with the demolition of Wilkinson Street; the goal is to pave McIntosh and Greene streets by the second week of August. He said the paving will happen later in the day to not interfere with the traffic flow throughout downtown during peak travel times.

The curb bump-outs that are designed to slow traffic will be included in the reconstruction of Wilkinson Street to mirror those constructed on McIntosh and Greene streets. Other improvements, including new LED lighting, will showcase the attractive sidewalk designs while making them more accessible to those with physical disabilities. 

“The sidewalk lamp posts are now installed and working on Greene with the posts going in this week on McIntosh,” said Thomas recently. “Once we start the paving, we will be close to finishing the project.” 

Thomas said that the landscaping portion of the project will not begin until September because the high summer temperatures will force the transplants to struggle and possibly not survive. He said the landscaping will be facilitated by the public works department. 

The city is increasing the plant rotation in the sidewalk planters to quarterly from annually with a focus on seasonal plantings. Dozens of new trees, shrubs, and ground covers will be also be installed along the Phase IV sections. New benches, trashcans and bike stations will be included as well. 

“Public Works is currently finishing up with the construction of the rain garden which is on the corner of Greene and Wilkinson,” said Thomas. “There will be planting in that area as well in the fall.”

The rain gardens are designed to direct stormwater running off roofs, concrete, and other impervious surfaces into shallow, plant-filled areas, reducing the amount of water and pollutants that would otherwise funnel into the city drains. The garden allows water to percolate back into the ground and refill the water table. The pollutants — heavy metals, oil, and grease — are filtered out through porous materials such as sand, gravel, and soil. 

Another Public Works project involves repairs to manholes including those located on Highway 49 West close to Central City Park, as several located on Elbert and Jefferson streets. Thomas said the roads will not be closed and traffic will be routed around the work sites. 

Later this month, Thomas said Public Works will be involved in the road diet that will be installed in the Georgia Military College school zone of Elbert Street between Franklin and Greene streets. Currently waiting on the approval for the design, he said the project is slated to begin the week of July 22 with the goal of completion by the new school year.  


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