The city of Marietta is scheduled to begin a $1.3 million improvement project to the Square January 4, which will provide better service to businesses around the Square and beautify the downtown area. When complete, upgrades will include repaving the Square; replacing the water main under the parking spaces on North Park Square, West Park Square and South Park Square; brick crosswalks at all four intersections of the Square; replacing street poles with black better-looking poles; reducing the number of signs; and replacing existing parking signs.
To help reduce the impact of construction to Marietta’s citizens, merchants and visitors, several meetings have been held to review the best available options for parking, deliveries and access to the Square while construction is taking place. The city chose to begin construction January 4 because merchants usually experience slower business during the winter, and the city and other groups and organizations host fewer events than at other times during the year. City leaders are working with contractors and city departments to make sure the work is completed as fast as possible.
The waterline, located under the street, is old and needs to be replaced. “Visitors will be able to access the sidewalks at all times during construction,” Public Works director Dan Conn said.
The new waterline will provide better services to residents and businesses near the Square. Construction is scheduled to be completed by May 1, and the city will work with the contractor to manage the work schedule to minimize the disruption to businesses, city manager Bill Bruton said. “The city delayed the project, which will allow us to work during the slowest months for businesses on the Square.”
Parking and traffic
Motorists will be able to park along all four sides of the Square during construction, but not all spaces will be available at all times. The project will include a few lane closures during construction, but at least four ways entering and leaving the Square will be maintained at all times during construction. Detour signs will be posted to direct motorists to alternate routes. Access to the Square could be reduced to two entrances and two exits for a short time because of the weather. The city has developed a plan to help vendors and merchants unload merchandise in loading zones around the Square.
City facilities including City Hall, 205 Lawrence Street, the Marietta Fire Department headquarters, 112 Haynes Street, and the Marietta Police Department, 240 Lemon Street, will not be affected by the construction or detours.
Construction on the waterline will occur in two phases on each side of the Square, and service will be restored when construction is complete. Workers will replace the waterline first and begin by replacing the line under the parking spaces in front of businesses on North Park Square. Waterlines will also be replaced under the parking spaces on West Park Square and South Park Square. The city plans to close no more than half of the parking along the north side of North Park Square at a time during most of the construction on the waterline. The city expects half of the parking spaces along one side of North and West Park Square to be closed for approximately two to three days during construction while work moves to West Park Square.
After work is completed on the water main along North Park Square, work will begin on West Park Square, then South Park Square. Work along West Park Square and South Park Square will be completed in a similar fashion as North Park Square. Contractors will also begin construction on brick crosswalks, and work will continue at the same time workers are replacing the waterline. Workers will build brick crosswalks across part of the intersections of West Park Square, South Park Square and East Park Square.
After construction is complete on the waterline near the North Park Square and East Park Square intersection, sidewalk construction will begin at the intersection of North Park Square and East Park Square. As construction begins on the water main around the Square, improvements to the crosswalk will follow at each intersection. The crosswalk construction at each intersection will be completed in two phases to keep traffic flowing smoothly and help motorists park easier.
Sign, pole upgrades
The city will replace signs around the Square while construction on the waterline and crosswalks is taking place. Staff will replace current poles and street signs with decorative ones. Workers will reduce the overall number of poles by putting street signs on light poles or consolidating them with other signs on decorative sign poles. Workers will replace the remaining overhead light poles with new decorative poles during the sign replacement.
North Park Square, West Park Square, South Park Square, and East Park Square will be resurfaced after construction on the waterline and crosswalks is completed. Workers plan to mill and resurface the streets at night to maintain traffic flow during the day. The resurfacing is expected to be complete by the end of April, but could extend until the end of May.
With so many projects being constructed simultaneously, citizens, merchants, motorists and visitors are encouraged to be patient during construction.
The project is funded by the special purpose local option sales tax passed by voters in 2005 to fund transportation improvements.
An efficient transportation system, which places a high premium on the quality of life of Marietta’s citizens, is a goal City Council established as part of its vision statement.
For more information, call Marietta’s Public Works Department at 770-794-5650, or to sign up for e-mail updates, visit mariettaga.gov/transportation.