DeKalb Avenue’s status as one of Atlanta’s most dangerous, pothole-ridden traffic corridors could be in jeopardy. Finally.

The Atlanta Department of Transportation and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office announced this week that a groundbreaking ceremony will be held Wednesday morning for the long-awaited DeKalb Avenue Safety Improvement Project.

Officials concede the roadway fixes have been a long time coming, candidly adding “At last!” on invitations to the ceremony at the Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA station. “Join us for an afternoon featuring your favorite blues hits,” ATLDOT added on Twitter.

In June, the Atlanta City Council unanimously approved $5.4 million for safety improvements on Decatur Street and DeKalb Avenue—changes that bicycling advocates and other urbanist groups have been formally lobbying for since 2014.  

The avenue's condition in Candler Park following infrastructure work. Between 2015 and last year, nearly 1,000 vehicle crashes had occurred on DeKalb Avenue between downtown and the city limits at East Lake MARTA Station. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The work would span from Jackson Street in Sweet Auburn to the city limits at Ridgecrest Road near Decatur. That corridor, roughly four and a 1/2 miles, is dotted with six MARTA stations.

We’ve asked city officials what Atlantans might expect, in terms of timelines for construction and which sections will be repaired first. We’ll update this article with any further information that comes.

The full scope of the work is expected to take two years to finish, officials told Urbanize Atlanta earlier this summer.

The full scope of the complete street project plans, as detailed by the city last year. City of Atlanta; Renew Atlanta/2020

ATLDOT will oversee all aspects of construction. The area in question has numerous underground utilities and extensive pavement damage.

According to city officials, improvements will include the removal of DeKalb Avenue’s controversial “suicide” middle lane, road resurfacing, and sidewalk repairs. A dedicated left turn will be installed, along with bike lanes along certain sections.

Following the city council’s vote in June, Mayor Bottoms’ called the improvements integral to her administration’s plans for safer streets. “Making the road inclusive for drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians will give all residents more secure ways to get around and ultimately make our city safer,” Bottoms said at the time.

These proposed changes at Arizona Avenue have made the cut. They include turn lanes and a short stretch of protected bike lanes to Clifton Street.City of Atlanta; Renew Atlanta/2020

For a more detailed look at what DeKalb Avenue’s future may hold, head to this story from April, in which Rebecca Serna, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s executive director, provided a detailed tour of proposed changes—and context for why they're needed. 

• DeKalb Avenue is an embarrassment, but changes are planned soon (Urbanize Atlanta)