County Breaks Ground for Emory Village Roundabout

Emory Village neighbors, business owners, and university faculty and staff joined county officials and AIEV representatives on Wednesday to  turn symbolic shovels of dirt to signal the start of a transformational roundabout and streetscape project at the intersection of North Decatur and Oxford roads near the Emory entrance.

The $2.1 million project, which has already involved extensive utility burial and water main replacement, is a major step in a long-anticipated effort to revitalize the village through traffic calming measures and other improvements that will encourage future redevelopment. When complete next June, the new roundabout will carry more traffic than any built to date in metro Atlanta and help promote safer pedestrian access in the Village.

CEO Burrell Ellis praised the collaboration between government, both county and federal, and the community, and said the roundabout promises to improve safety and the quality of life in and around the village.

Commissioner Kathy Gannon, who was one of the founders of AIEV, reminded the onlookers how the loss of the Village Kroger in1999 ignited an effort to revitalize the Village. In 2000, respected traffic engineer Dan Burton told the community that “what they needed was a roundabout.” While elated over the fact that this day had finally dawned a decade later, she noted that the next nine months of construction will be a tough time for Emory village merchants and urged the community to patronize the village and support the merchants there.

The construction project is “evidence of the continuity and persistence of effort to make a safer and more livable Emory Village,” Commissioner Jeff Rader said, calling the Village project a model for Atlanta –a village center where people can walk and shop and bike.

Speaking for AIEV, former AIEV chair Davis Fox thanked the many people who had been involved in getting to this day, including architect Peter Drey who was key in developing plans; Emory University which has provided financial support, technical expertise and arranged a swap of land with Georgia Power in exchange for utility line burial in the village; the Druid Hills Civic Association which provided financial assistance early on; the county commissioners; and the members of the AIEV Board. DeKalb is providing a 20% match to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Center Initiative. “But we still need more help to complete the park in the village,” he concluded.

“But we still need more help to complete the park in the village,” he concluded. Read more about the park. and the roundabout and streetscape project. Watch the news about the groundbreaking. (Oct. 6, 2010 )