Long known for its potholes, DeKalb Avenue is finally getting repairs

Authorities on the scene of a water main break on DeKalb Avenue in 2014. Advocates have pushed for improvements to the busy road for years.
Caption
Authorities on the scene of a water main break on DeKalb Avenue in 2014. Advocates have pushed for improvements to the busy road for years.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The road will be smooth. The sidewalks will be repaired. And that confusing reversible lane? Gone.

Long-awaited improvements are coming to DeKalb Avenue, a busy three-lane corridor on Atlanta’s eastside that is notorious for its potholes and unusual design, according to city leaders.

The Atlanta City Council approved $5.4 million in funding for the roadwork Monday. The project will affect almost four miles of Decatur Street and DeKalb Avenue, from Jackson Street to Ridgecrest Road, which is near the East Lake MARTA station.

Changes will include the removal of the reversible lane and addition of a dedicated left turn lane, road resurfacing, sidewalk fixes and bike lanes along some sections of the road.

“The improvements coming to DeKalb Avenue are important to our administration’s plan for safer streets,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “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.”

Eddie Jenkins bikes his way along the one westbound lane on DeKalb Avenue as cars pass. Photo by Bill Torpy
Caption
Eddie Jenkins bikes his way along the one westbound lane on DeKalb Avenue as cars pass. Photo by Bill Torpy

Construction is set to begin later this summer. The contractor C.W. Matthews/Kelly JV was selected to do the roadwork, with the Atlanta Department of Transportation overseeing the project.

Advocates have pushed for fixes to DeKalb Avenue for years. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition wants to see DeKalb Avenue become a “greenway” that is similar to the Beltline and prioritizes bicyclists, pedestrians and greenspace.