DeKalb County Takes Blight Fight to I-20 and I-85 Interchanges

June 13, 2024
1 min read
DeKalb County Takes Blight Fight to I-20 and I-85 Interchanges

🌿 The Gist: DeKalb County is investing in the beautification of approximately 20 acres of I-20 and I-85 interchanges, enhancing the gateways with new plantings and lighting.

🚧 The Details: DeKalb County has initiated the Gateway Beautification Project, targeting around 20 acres of high-traffic interchanges, including Chamblee Tucker and Flat Shoals Roads. The project, part of a larger $20 million blight eradication and beautification effort, is aimed at creating positive impressions for travelers, enhancing community pride, attracting businesses, and reducing crime.

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond emphasized the significance of these enhancements, stating, “These enhanced gateways will create positive first impressions of our county for tens of thousands of travelers. No matter where you enter or leave DeKalb—north, south, east or west—these beautified gateways will send a message that DeKalb County is a beautiful place to live, work and play.”

💡 By The Numbers:

  • Investment: Part of an $20 million initiative
  • Properties Demolished: Nearly 700 since 2017
  • Maintenance Activities: Increased maintenance, mowing, tree trimming, herbicide application, litter removal, and curb bumping.

🌳 The Big Picture:
According to research by Eugenia C. South from the Urban Health Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, such beautification efforts, including litter and blight mitigation and the planting of new grass and trees, can lead to decreased criminal activity in urban high-crime areas.

🌷 Project Highlights:

  • Interchanges Beautified: Chamblee Tucker and Flat Shoals Roads, Candler Road interchange
  • New Installations: LED lighting for enhanced public safety
  • Landscaping by Russell Landscape: Includes bald cypress, maples, crape myrtles, hydrangea, ornamental grass, holly, abelia, and perennials.
  • Design Features: Large masses of plants with curves and undulations to create a dynamic visual experience for travelers.

📈 Why It Matters: The Gateway Beautification Project not only aims to beautify the county but also to improve public safety, enhance the quality of life, and bolster economic growth by attracting new businesses.

🔧 What’s Next?: The project will continue with ongoing weekly maintenance by Russell Landscape, ensuring the new plantings remain vibrant and the areas stay clean and inviting.

💬 Your Take: What are your thoughts on DeKalb County’s beautification efforts? Do you believe these projects will positively impact community pride and safety? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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