Tree clearing on Mount Vernon Road at the Vermack Road intersection is expected to begin soon after a contract was approved by the Dunwoody City Council.

The council awarded the $56,000 contract to A1 Contracting at its Jan. 8 meeting. The tree removal is the beginning stage of the planned intersection improvements at Mount Vernon Road and Vermack Road that dates back to 2014. The project includes adding sidewalks, concrete islands for pedestrian safety, bike lanes and addition of turn lanes on both roads.

About 150 trees will be removed along the project area that encompasses about a quarter-mile long, according to city officials. Removal is expected to begin later this month or in early February.

DeKalb County will also be undertaking a water main upgrade in the project area and the city is entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the county to incorporate the water main upgrade into the intersection improvement project, according to Public Works Director Michael Smith.

The city approved the IGA in February 2017 and the DeKalb commission finally approved it in November.

“In order to incorporate the county’s water main upgrade into the project the city needed a set of design plans from the county, and the DeKalb Board of Commissioners approval of the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that the City Council approved in February of 2017,” Smith stated in the memo.

The final water main design plans are expected this month at which point the construction contract can be advertised, Smith stated.

To get the project underway, the city is starting the tree-clearing portion of the project as a separate contract so that the site can be cleared and utility relocation can begin, Smith explained.

The city approved $1.25 million in 2017 for the Mount Vernon Road and Vermack Road intersection project.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.