General Questions

Q: Why is this project being done?

A: As the new bed tower for Emory University Hospital (“J Wing”) nears completion in 2017, there will be a series of improvements to the street, sidewalks, landscaping, and access points on this segment of Clifton Road. 

These enhancements are being made to improve the patient experience at Emory Healthcare, and to provide enhanced access for thousands of Emory University and Emory Healthcare staff, students, faculty, patients, and visitors who travel on Clifton Road each day.

Q: What are the benefits of this project?

A: The benefits of these projects will be many — including calming traffic; increasing pedestrian, bicyclist, and vehicular safety; improving access and traffic flow on North Decatur Road; and greatly enhancing the aesthetics of Clifton Road.

Dates and Times

Q: What is the time period for this project?

A: This project will start in mid to late June 2016 and continue for approximately nine to 12 months into 2017.  

Q: When will the work take place?

A: The construction will necessitate periodic lane closures and other inconveniences for several months. Much of the regrading and resurfacing work will be done at night and on weekends; however, periodic lane closures during the day will also occur.


Q: What changes will be made to Clifton Road?

A: Clifton Road from North Decatur Road to Haygood Drive/Eagle Row will undergo a significant streetscape overhaul, including a complete resurfacing and widening of the road.

Q: Where did the concept for the streetscape improvement come from?

A: The streetscape improvements are consistent with the concepts on which Emory and the community provided feedback in 2006-2008.  These urban design guidelines were drafted by the Boston-based design firm, Goody Clancy.  The guidelines provide a framework for more vibrant public areas on or near Clifton Road.   The guidelines can be found at:

Q: How will the streetscape work affect existing trees along Clifton Road?

A total of 30 trees will be cut down. 107 trees will be planted as a part of the project, a number which includes both trees planted along the sides of the road and trees in the new road medians. The tree removal and replanting complies with Emory's No Net Loss of Forest Canopy policy, which since 1999 requires that any time a tree is removed, a sufficient number of trees must be planted in order to maintain or exceed the original forest canopy.

Q: How will changes incorporate bike traffic?

A: A bike lane will be added along the east side of Clifton Road and a shared lane marking (“sharrow”) will be added on the west side of Clifton Road. 

Due to several ‘pinch points’ along Clifton Road where infrastructure is situated near the roadway , there was not space to include a bike lane on the west side of Clifton Road (in those tight areas, the eight-foot wide sidewalk is reduced considerably and the planted strip eliminated).   A non-contiguous bike lane along the west side of Clifton Road was rejected for safety reasons.
Emory reviewed the plans extensively to maximize safe mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.   After additional review, a partial bike path along the west side of Clifton Road, outside the roadway and on Emory property, will be added.  This bike path will extend from Eagle Row, run parallel to Clifton Road and terminate in the Woodruff Circle vicinity.  While this will not provide a dedicated bike lane for the entire western stretch of Clifton Road, it will provide a contiguous bike lane for a portion of this section, enabling bicyclists to access Emory University Hospital, the adjoining Emory Healthcare facilities and the existing Emory University bike land network on campus.

Q: How will Cliff Shuttle and MARTA bus stops be impacted during construction?

A: At varying points in the streetscape and road construction, each bus stop on Clifton Road between North Druid Hills and Haygood Drive / Eagle Row, will be temporarily out of service and relocated to a nearby bus stop when construction makes that necessary. All bus stops will be reconstructed at their original locations once construction is completed. The project team is coordinating with Emory Transportation and Parking Services and with MARTA on the work surrounding these temporary bus stop changes. 

Q: What will the new sidewalks will be like?

A: Sidewalks will be widened (to eight feet, plus a five-foot planted strip along the curb), and trees and other plantings will be added to new medians.  

Q: What will power lines and street lights be like after the project is completed?

A: Georgia Power lines have been buried, creating a cleaner sightline on Clifton Road.  New street lights similar to those in Emory Village will be added.

Turning Lanes, Traffic Lights and Access Points

Q: Will there be any changes to the intersection at Clifton Road and North Decatur Road?

A: A new right turn lane will be added at Clifton Road and North Decatur Road for westbound traffic heading toward Emory Village.

Q: Are there any plans to make it easier for Emory University / Emory Healthcare staff using Gambrell Drive parking decks to leave campus?

A: A new traffic light and ingress/egress lanes will be added at Healthgate Drive and North Decatur Road (currently a gated, limited-access entry near the North Decatur Building).   This access point will be primarily for use by Emory University/Emory Healthcare faculty and staff who are accessing the parking decks along Gambrell Drive (not intended for patients, or through traffic).

Pedestrian Bridge

Q: Are there any plans to change the existing bridge over Clifton Road?

A: Concurrent with this road improvement project, a new pedestrian bridge will be installed over Clifton Road from the new “J Wing” to the existing Emory University Hospital, and the existing bridge will be removed.

Q: When will the new bridge construction take place and how does it relate to the streetscape improvement project?

A: The pedestrian bridge installation will take place during a yet-to-be-scheduled weekend this summer and will necessitate highly restricted access to Clifton Road for that weekend. During that time, general traffic will be rerouted around the work site. Ambulances and emergency room visits will be accommodated. The Clifton Streetscape and pedestrian bridge are concurrent projects being done by two different construction companies.


Q: Where is the best place to look for updates on this project?

A: This website ( will serve as a centralized schedule resource. Messages will be communicated in Emory Report and Health Sciences Update newsletters and posted to the Emory News Center. There will also be outreach targeted specifically to affected groups along the work zone, e.g., town halls, email notifications, and signage around the work area.

Additional Questions?

For questions, suggestions, and other communications, please email: