The Waleska Street and Hickory Flat Highway pedestrian improvements are nearly 80 percent complete, said Canton City Engineer Joby West. He noted the project remains on schedule and has not been impacted by the recent rainy conditions.
“We’ve been fortunate to have decent weather,” he added.
West said the final landscaping and parts of the sidewalks are being installed on both projects and they hope to have it completed by October.
The Waleska project, which broke ground in late March, will install sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks along West Main Street, beginning at Academy Street and continuing west onto Waleska Street.
Also included in the improvement project will be North Street, beginning at Church Street and continuing to the Waleska Street intersection.
The improvements include five-foot-wide sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, crosswalks and necessary signage.
The Hickory Flat Highway project will make similar improvements between Marietta Road and the southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 575.
The improvements include 5-foot-wide sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, crosswalks and necessary signage.
Georgia Development Partners is doing the work.
The project is a part of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Living Centers Initiative. It is funded 80 percent by the state and 20 percent by the city.
West said crews are installing a retaining wall on the north side of Waleska Street near the Canton Fire Station downtown. He expects the Hickory Flat Highway project to be completed sooner as its scope is smaller.
One business owner impacted by the project remains frustrated at what he characterizes as the slow pace.
Wayne Sutton, owner of the Bus Stop Barber Shop on North Street, said he was told the project would minimally impact his business, but he’s resorted to putting a sign in the window to inform customers he’s still open for business. He did note some of his customers who are physically disabled or have limited mobility have had to struggle with getting around the crumpled sidewalk.
“I’ve had some complain about how long it’s going to take,” he added.
For Canton Main Street Program Director Ginger Garrard, the project could greatly pay off. Garrard said the project will transform downtown Canton and will leave the central business district with “beautiful” landscaping.
Garrard said downtown merchants have been patient and understanding.
“I know it’s been tough on them and they’ll be glad to see when it’s over,” she said, adding some feel the construction has driven some visitors away. “But overall, it’s not as bad as it could have been.”