DUNWOODY, Ga. — It's rather a startling sight for drivers in the Georgetown Shopping Center area — dozens of mature trees along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road have been chopped down.
But city officials say there's a method to the madness.
The clearing of the trees from Shallowford Road to Old Spring House Lane on both sides of the road is part of a plan that's been almost a decade in the planning. The idea is to improve the streetscape along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road from Shallowford Road to Cotillion Drive that will improve the roadways and provide connectivity to Brook Run Park.
"We've gotten some calls and emails from people concerned about the trees that are being cut down, but there is a plan to replace them," Dunwoody Public Works Director Michael Smith said. "The trees that are being removed right now are necessary as they relocate utility lines and make the lanes along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road more uniform."
It's the beginning of a three-year improvement project that is being funded mostly by monies from the Atlanta Regional Commission and DeKalb County. ARC is contributing $5.2 million and DeKalb is throwing in $567,000 for the water main improvements. The city is responsible for the final $2.6 million to round out the $8.3 million project, which is slated to be complete in 2024.
The plan has been on the city's radar since 2012, when the area was identified as one that could be improved in the areas of walkability and aesthetics. The city held public hearings to gauge what people wanted to see as far as improvements, and that input was incorporated into the final plans, Smith said.
During the three-year process, Chamblee-Dunwoody Road will not be closed, but there will be delays and some lane closures, Smith said. The plan calls for the planting 85 trees to replace those that were removed.
"In the end, we think it's going to be a transformational project for the area," he said. "It will be a process, so we want to ask people to be patient. The result of this work will be worth it."