SUWANEE -- The city of Suwanee will implement a $3.3 million grant to reconstruct part of Buford Highway as a "context sensitive roadway."
Under the grant through the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative, sections of Buford Highway will be redeveloped to "safely accommodate multiple modes of transportation and help connect residents and visitors to a variety of activity centers," city officials announced Wednesday.
Plans call for the roadway to remain two lanes, but with redevelopment all around it. Scheduled changes include the addition of sidewalks, multiuse trails and landscaped medians, as well as turn lanes and the potential for the construction of a roundabout.
A scoping study is scheduled to begin next month, and officials expect construction -- which should take about two years -- to start sometime in 2013.
"We're not rebuilding the entire roadway itself," said Planning Division Director Matthew Dickison. "Rather, we're adding elements that will make Buford Highway context-sensitive to its surrounding areas and help facilitate quality future development."
A 2010 study called for Buford Highway to be developed in three sections "in a manner that respects the character of each area," city officials said: "rural" from McGinnis Ferry Road to Davis Street; "historic" from Davis Street to just south of Town Center; and, simply enough, "Town Center" in the Town Center area.
Suwanee received the grant in November. The estimated total cost for the improvements is $4 million and Suwanee is responsible for a 20 percent match of just under $825,000, which officials said will come from 2009 SPLOST funds.