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Gainesville fixing downtown sidewalks
Improvements focused on pedestrian-heavy area
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Jeff Henke of Gainesville Public Works helps repair a broken sidewalk Wednesday morning along Main Street. The focus the Gainesville Public Works department is putting on improving sidewalks will result in greater accessibility in the downtown area, city officials said. Crews are currently in the process of cutting the curb and adding curb ramps in various areas and will continue the process over the next few months to identify sidewalks that are in need of repairs, repaving and then adding curb ramps where possible.

Gainesville is working to improve sidewalks in the downtown area.

Public works crews are working this week near the Hall County Library System’s main branch at Brenau Avenue and Main Street. Work already has been done at Brenau and Bradford Street.

“This will be a process over the next few months to identify sidewalks that are in need of repairs, repaving and then adding curb ramps where possible,” Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said.

The focus is on sidewalks around the pedestrian-heavy downtown area, and the city is using some grant money to help buy the needed concrete, Public Works Director David Dockery said.

Money is coming from the Community Development Block Grant program, federal dollars administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Sheppard said.

“We’ll be removing trip hazards and making curbs more accessible (with ramps) where we can,” Dockery said. “We’re not building new sidewalks. We’re just trying to go back and rehabilitate some of the older ones.”

Joe Wood Jr., president and CEO of Turner Wood & Smith insurance firm off Brenau Avenue, said he’s pleased the work is happening.

“It will improve the downtown area,” he said.

Library Director Lisa MacKinney said the library has many users who walk to or use public transportation to get the library, as downtown parking can be challenging.

“Anything done to improve their access to our building and all of the downtown area is exciting,” she said.

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