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Stockbridge North Berry Streetscape project completed

The North Berry Streetscape Project included new sidewalks with brick pavers, handicap ramps, asphalt paving, traffic striping, decorative street lighting, benches, trees and landscaping. (Special Photo)

The North Berry Streetscape Project included new sidewalks with brick pavers, handicap ramps, asphalt paving, traffic striping, decorative street lighting, benches, trees and landscaping. (Special Photo)

STOCKBRIDGE —Stockbridge residents will soon have safe access to their downtown area on foot.

The North Berry Streetscape project was completed this week, while work continues along South Berry Street to give residents greater access to local businesses and government buildings. City officials say it will greatly improve the look, feel and accessibility of downtown Stockbridge.

The North Berry Streetscape Project from Nolan Street to Love Street includes new concrete sidewalks with decorative brick pavers, curb and gutter drainage, additional parking, new composite utility poles, handicap ramps, asphalt paving, traffic striping, storm drainage improvements, signage, decorative street lighting, benches, trash receptacles, trees and landscaping.

“You’re putting in $1.2 million in streetscape to make it all look good,” City Manager David Milliron told the council when the project was first announced.

The bulk of the project cost was paid for with state Transportation Enhancement (TE) grant money, with the remainder being paid for from SPLOST III dollars. Almost $800,000 was provided by federal grants, and the remaining $400,000 will come from SPLOST III and general funds.

In the meantime, construction will continue along South Berry Street. Those plans call for grading, asphalt paving, traffic striping, storm drainage improvements, curb and gutters, 900 feet of sidewalks, and decorative street lighting along South Berry Street from Nolan Street south to Wilson Street.

The project will cost an additional $261,000 and will connect to North Berry Street.

“Basically, (people can) come out of the neighborhood, come down railroad street, come down south berry street, and go all the way down to the Merle Manders Center, City Hall and all that and never leave sidewalks,” Milliron originally said.

He told the board he had an emotional attachment to the project since he first took a tour of the city and noticed people trudging along heavily commuted streets without a sidewalk.

“For years, as Councilman (Alphonso) Thomas can attest to and others, this is a project that has been a great need for public safety and beautification,” Mayor Mark Alarcon said.