Tuesday, December 14 marked the ribbon cutting and grand opening for the new Confluence Trail Pedestrian Bridge across Peachtree Creek. The Confluence Bridge is the result of six years of planning and inter-departmental coordination, spearheaded by the South Fork Conservancy.
The Confluence Trail was conceived to provide access to the confluence of the North and South Forks of Peachtree Creek, and create a park area for local residents. The new pedestrian bridge connects the Confluence Trail to the other trail systems in the area. The Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop Trails are just across Peachtree Creek, and PATH400 and the Atlanta Beltline are within a short walk.
Introducing the Speakers
The Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Confluence Bridge was led by the South Fork Conservancy’s Executive Director, Kimberly Estep. Speakers included Atlanta Parks and Recreation Executive Director John Dargle Jr., and Atlanta conservation stalwart Bob Kerr. Jennifer Ide, Atlanta City Council Representative from District 6, spoke about the long process of funding and completing the bridge project alongside Kimberly and the South Fork Conservancy.
DOT and Private Coordination
Georgia DOT representative Stacey Key is excited about the bridge and future pedestrian projects. When planning projects like this, she said, “The priorities of the community are taken into consideration”, and that the GDOT, “Can’t build many more roads, but we can add pedestrian projects” to help Atlantans move throughout the city.
Park Pride’s Executive Director Michael Halicki spoke about his organization’s green-space goals in Atlanta. He said Park Pride is committed to, “Engage the community to activate the power of parks.”
Deputy Commissioner Jessica Fulton from the Atlanta DOT mentioned how local organizations like Livable Buckhead and Buckhead CID are integral in the planning and execution of projects like this one, and future trail connections.
Recognizing South Fork Conservancy Founders
South Fork Conservancy Chair Julie Ralston recognized original South Fork Board members Bob Kerr, Sally Sears, Warner McConaughey, and Billy Hall with unique artwork created from bridge construction materials. She then presented the bridge to John Dargle Jr. as a gift for the City of Atlanta. Then the assembled group cut the ribbon and made the ceremonial first walk across the bridge.
Projects such as the Confluence Trail Pedestrian Bridge demonstrate what is possible when multiple private organizations and government agencies work together toward a common goal for the good of the community.