Solid Waste Downtown Collections Public Meeting on April 16

Pre-Dig for Stormwater System Ongoing

The Pre-Dig phase for the Clayton Street Improvements started Monday, June 18 when the ACC Transportation & Public Works Department's Streets & Drainage crews started digging trenches for the future stormwater system. The crews have finished their second week of work. Actual installation of the stormwater system will begin in January 2019.

The goal is to resolve any issues such as conflicts with other underground items earlier in the process so that the actual installation of the system goes quicker.

  • Work started near N. Lumpkin Street and will move block-by-block to Thomas Street until November 2018
  • Crews will work one side of a block at a time (south side and then the north side)
  • Work will only take place Monday - Thursday from 6:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (except for any holidays)*
  • Work will take place in a rolling work zone of up to approximately 200' at a time and require lane closures and parking space closures of 10-15 spaces at a time.

As work is completed, areas will be re-opened as soon as feasible. Additionally, all lanes and spaces are expected to be re-opened at the end of each pre-dig work week by Thursday afternoons.*

Detailed block-by-block/side of street maps and more information are available at Additionally, staff will continue to visit businesses in the affected areas to provide maps and answer questions about the project.

* - If weather conditions prevent placing asphalt, closures and work days/times may be extended before an area can re-open.

Pre-Dig Work on Clayton Street Improvements
After work is finished each week on Thursdays, gravel is used to fill the trench before the temporary asphalt is placed, weather permitting. This allows the spaces to re-open up for parking over the weekend.

Clayton Street Improvements Project Timeline 

General tentative project schedule:

  • Pre-Dig Phase (for Stormwater System) - June 18 - Nov. 1, 2018
    • Block 1 (S. Lumpkin to College) - June 18 - August 23
      • South side - June 18 - July 19
      • North side - July 23 - Aug. 23
    • Block 2 (College to N. Jackson) - Aug. 27 - Oct. 4
    • Block 3 (N. Jackson to Thomas) - Oct. 8 - Nov. 1
  • Private Utility Relocations - August 2018 - April 2019
  • Stormwater System Installation by Athens-Clarke County - January 2019 - March 2020 (break from August 2019 - January 2020)
  • Streetscape Installation by Private Contractor - April 2019 - August 2020 (break from November 2019 - April 2020)
Clayton Street Pre-Dig Map
Tree Root Problems

Tree Replacement

As has been noted throughout discussion of the project beginning back in 2014, tree replacement is a part of the Clayton Street Improvement project.

Many of the trees that are planted now were not designed for an urban environment and were not suited for confined urban spaces. The planters that encase them and the soil used is not as well-designed for this environment as today’s planters and soil.

Many of these trees are also nearing the end of their lifecycle and are not only in decline, but they have grown throughout the downtown infrastructure, causing serious issues with sidewalks, utilities, streets, and even buildings.

Some have already been removed over the years due to safety concerns. It is impossible to replace and improve the underground infrastructure and streetscape without seriously damaging or killing the existing trees.

The current trees in this area will be removed only as needed when construction impacts each one. Some will be removed in the next week, others in the next few weeks and months, while others may remain in place for a year or more if not affected.

Trees better suited to an urban environment will be planted in spaces that are better designed to handle their root systems. These new trees should last for decades, if not longer, without causing the problems of these older ones.

Weathering the Weather - Thanks to our Crews

It's worth noting that the ACC Transportation & Public Works crews working on this project are working on asphalt, in asphalt, and even under asphalt in the summer sun – often with long sleeves, heavy boots, and long pants – and even in the rain.

Even starting at 6:00 a.m., it gets hot quickly and summer pop-up storms are common in the afternoons. Our crews do a great job and we want to publicly note our appreciation for the work they are doing in all kinds of weather to improve the infrastructure in the downtown area, which has a unique set of challenges when working underground.

Feel free to let them know as well.

Crews Spreading Temporary Asphalt to Re-Open the Street

Additional information and upcoming dates that relate to the Clayton Street Area project will continue to be sent through this listserve and linked at

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