The city of Douglasville has received a $40,000 Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to improve the communities that surround the Highway 92 project.

Douglasville Mayor Rochelle Robinson, who serves on the ARC, thanked Douglasville Planning Director Michelle Wright at the city council meeting last Thursday for leading the city's charge in applying for the grant.

"Thank you, Ms. Wright for the work that you've done, in helping us secure that grant," Robinson said.

Once Highway 92 is relocated around the city's downtown, the grant will be used to begin a plan surrounding the area of Dallas Highway from south of Brown Street to Strickland Street, which will become a new city road, according to Douglasville Planning Director Michelle Wright.

"They're moving the road over, so they're giving the city that street back," Wright said. "It was a state route, it will no longer become a state route, it will become a city street and the city will be able to do improvements on it."

The new city street is potentially getting a new name as well, according to Mayor Pro Tem Richard Segal. The plan for improvements around the area includes more attached projects to complete the entry into the city. The number of projects won't be known until the plan's done.

"You go in and put a plan in there, identify things that you want to do, identify costs, and then identify where you get the funding from," Wright said.

Douglasville is matching 20 percent of the ARC's grant, but Wright said that she didn't immediately know where the matching funds were coming from.

Douglasville was one of the 11 communities around the metro Atlanta area to receive a grant from the ARC last week. The others include Atlanta, Kennesaw, Hapeville, Marietta, Buckhead, Jonesboro, Chamblee, and Avondale Estates.

"The LCI program has improved livability and access to jobs and services across metro Atlanta, while also encouraging more healthy lifestyles," ARC chair Kerry Armstrong said in a press release. "In short, it has helped transform communities across the region."

The entire Highway 92 project is going to divert the state highway around downtown Douglasville beginning at Hospital Drive south of downtown, under a tunnel east of downtown near Ellis Street and then reconnecting with the main road north of the city at Malone Road. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) said the projected completion for the Highway 92 project is 2022.

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