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Downtown Flowery Branch getting some Dutch flavor with this road project
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Crews work on Main Street in downtown Flowery Branch Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, where a new Dutch-style pedestrian and car friendly street surface is being installed. - photo by Scott Rogers

Downtown Flowery Branch is going Dutch.

Work is underway to convert Church Street between Main and West Pine streets into a “woonerf,” or a “living street” that mixes both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. 

The woonerf, a common sight in the Netherlands, will look much different than Flowery Branch’s other asphalt-only streets. It will feature interlocking pavers and Flowery Branch’s blossom logo embedded in concrete among the brickwork. Also, string lights will criss-cross the street above people and cars.

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Flowery Branch's new "woonerf" is taking shape Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, along the historic downtown area of the city. The new Dutch-style street surface is pedestrian and car friendly. - photo by Scott Rogers

And an amphitheater with a pavilion is being built off the woonerf in a lot between Antebellum restaurant and West Pine Street, which is also getting rebuilt with a brick paver driving surface.

The woonerf could be completed in 4-6 weeks, said Renee Carden, Flowery Branch’s downtown director.

The flower blossom is an aspect of the project that Carden is especially proud of.

“It will have different-colored pavers and shapes to create the flower pattern, and it will look distinctive,” Carden said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

The woonerf is part of a flurry of downtown improvements the city is making. The town’s new open-air pavilion, which will be used for the popular farmers market and other events, opened this summer.

The work, meanwhile, has meant the closing of downtown roadways.

Church is closed from Main to Chestnut Street, Pine Street is closed from Mitchell Street to Main and Main Street is blocked at Church Street for new drainage infrastructure.

All the work is making getting to City Hall, which sits off Church, Chestnut and West Pine streets, “very tricky,” Carden said.

“There’s not an easy way to get (around),” she said. “We really tried hard to leave (roads) open, but with all of this detail, there was no way to do parts at a time.”

Carden is hopeful the street can be open at least for participants in the 23rd Annual 5K BOO Run on Oct. 29. The city also is hoping the street will be open for people attending the Christmas festival on Nov. 19.

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Flowery Branch's new "woonerf" is taking shape Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, along the historic downtown area of the city. The new Dutch-style street surface is pedestrian and car friendly and will feature a Flowery Branch logo at the intersection of Church and Pine streets. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Crews work on Main Street in downtown Flowery Branch Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, where a new Dutch-style pedestrian and car friendly street surface is being installed. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Flowery Branch's new "woonerf" is taking shape Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, along the historic downtown area of the city. The new Dutch-style street surface is pedestrian and car friendly. - photo by Scott Rogers