A new road opened on May 15 in the heart of downtown Milton -- a connection between Mayfield Road and Birmingham Highway that will house the future Market District and Town Center East.
The street's opening represents another significant step forward in the City of Milton's efforts to improve traffic flow, pedestrian access and business viability in and around the ever evolving Crabapple district.
"This is a major milestone for Milton and our growing downtown," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. "It's a crucial connection in the city that should be a magnet for people who will live along it, eat at its restaurants, and otherwise enjoy it for years to come."
Under the direction of the City's Transportation Engineer Sara Leaders, the road is part of a comprehensive traffic plan for Milton's downtown. It begins and ends at two new roundabouts -- one at the intersection of Heritage Walk and Birmingham Highway, and the other at the cross between Mayfield Road and Charlotte Drive. The latter roundabout is still undergoing finishing touches.
The new thoroughfare is tentatively being referred to as a continuation of Heritage Walk, which is the name of the road behind Crabapple Market on which City Hall sits. In the past, it has also been called the Northeast Crabapple Connector as well as Charlotte Drive Extension.
The road's construction funding comes through through TSPLOST, the voter-approved 0.75-cent sales tax for local transportation projects. Construction Management and Engineering Services -- or CMES, a Norcross-based company contracted by the City of Milton -- finished the project on time and on budget.
"We are very appreciative of the great job done by our partners at CMES," said Milton's Public Works Director Robert Drewry. "And we're excited for residents and visitors to take advantage of their work."
The extended Heritage Walk is a key part of the ongoing transformation of the city's Crabapple district.
Several private development projects are currently underway in this immediate area, including Market District Crabapple and Town Center East.
Market District is a mixed-use development consisting of eight buildings that will include residences, restaurants, and more. Earlier this year, the developer announced that a uniquely designed Starbucks (a franchise to be owned by a local resident) was its first official tenant. Town Center East is a non-residential, mixed-use development project that will include retail on the first floor, offices and other uses on upper floors. This three-story building will front Mayfield Road facing the Milton Library.