Braselton to be awarded $500K grant for streets

BRASELTON - A $500,000 federal grant will help Braselton complete a streetscape project on Ga. Highway 53 through the downtown area.

The $1.2 million project consists of the installation of sidewalks, trees, pedestrian lights, a curb and gutter, and the burial of overhead utility lines along Ga. 53 through the center of the downtown district, according to the town's application for the grant.

"Pedestrian access would be better accommodated in the downtown business district with the construction of sidewalks along the district's principal streets," the application states. "Trees, street lights and pedestrian lights would also be installed along the street to provide visibility at night and to improve the overall aesthetic appearance of the downtown. ... Currently, no sidewalks or other pedestrian facility exists along S.R. 53 in the Braselton Downtown District."

The streetscapes project is part of the Braselton Downtown Master Plan adopted in 2004.

The town was one of 10 recipients in the 10th Congressional District of Transportation Enhancement program funds for fiscal years 2008 and 2000. The federally-funded program, established in 1991, is managed by the Georgia Department of Transportation's Planning Office, according to a news release.

The program's goal is to enrich the transportation experience of Georgians through specific types of enhancement projects, the news release states. The kinds of projects funded by the program include multi-use facilities, such as walking and biking trails and paths; streetscaping and landscaping projects in cities and towns; historic preservation of transportation-related facilities like railroad depots; and scenic preservation of views and scenic byways.

"I'm delighted to announce these grants," State Transportation Board member Bill Kuhlke Jr. of Augusta said in a statement. "We received a great many excellent applications from communities and organizations in the 10th District. Unfortunately, we could not fund them all in this grant phase. These which are being funded showed great local government commitment to improving their community's quality of life and their local elected leaders and state legislators are to be commended."