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Lula downtown improvement work could start in January
Sidewalks, parking spaces among upgrades planned
Major Kevin Jenrette Park in downtown Lula should be more accesible for visitors as Lula begins work sprucing up Main Street in Lula with new landscaping, sidewalks and some parking spaces between Athens Street and City Hall off Charlotte Street.

Nearly a year after improving the look of one section of Main Street, Lula plans to continue the downtown work on another stretch this winter.

Improvements could start in January, with the northeast Hall County city planning to add new sidewalks, parking spaces, drains and landscaping along Main Street between Athens and past City Hall off Charlotte Street.

The section of roadway is lined on one side by businesses and on the other by railroad tracks, which run through the city.

Lula City Council gave its OK last week to awarding the $245,703 project to a contractor, Chattahoochee Group.

“We’ll have to sit down with the contractor and have preconstruction meetings,” City Manager Dennis Bergin said. “(The work) affects some of the businesses, and we will want to be able to coordinate with them.”

“If we hit the ground running, the work should take 45 days (to complete),” or just before spring’s arrival, Bergin said.

Chattahoochee has done previous work for the city “and done a very good job,” said Mayor Milton Turner, who had hoped to see the project finished before winter.

The project is part of a long-range “streetscape” plan, which calls for new sidewalks, landscaping and other touches throughout the downtown area.

Past improvements have included new sidewalks on Main west of Athens Street, as well as construction of Veterans Park at the corner of Main and Athens. The park features a decorative water fountain and bricks laid in honor of veterans.

The city has been able to make the improvements through the transportation enhancement program, which enabled the state to funnel federal money to local governments to dress up key roadways. A 20 percent local match has been required.

The federal money faded out after Congress passed a transportation spending bill in 2012.

“This (latest phase) will be the last of the (program funding in the city),” Turner has said.

So, for future efforts, “with everything else, we’ll look at other funding sources,” he said.

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