Work is now underway to extend the PATH400 trail from Wieuca Road to Lordans Drive.
PATH400, the 5.2-mile greenway running alongside Ga. 400 connecting residential and retail areas that is currently under development, is entering its final stage in Buckhead with construction recently commencing on a major section of the pathway. The northernmost section builds off the existing trail and will run from Wieuca Road to Loridans Drive connecting PATH400 to Mountain Way Common. Click here to read our preview and see photos of this section of PATH400.
Livable Buckhead, which is spearheading the project, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the near-one-mile section of the greenway in November with construction crews now beginning initial work on the latest portion. It is perhaps the most significant undertaking of PATH400 so far with a $12.5 million price tag and added intricacies due to the topography of the area and the section passing underneath Ga. 400. The total construction time of the section of greenway is 22 months, which is dependent on weather.
“This is a pretty big section and the last of the major construction,” Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling said. “It is also probably the most complex with the grades along [Ga. 400].”
The (construction) path ahead
Clearing of existing trees is underway with plans for new trees to be planted once construction is complete. Grading will also soon begin, and Starling said work will primarily be done during “regular work hours and during the week,” though some Saturday work is possible. This summer, construction on the bridge over Mountain Way will begin and is anticipated to take 14 months to complete.
Starling said the bridge will be a “cool feature” running adjacent to Ga. 400 before traversing underneath it to provide views of Little Nancy Creek and a portion running into the nearby nature area.
Once bridge construction is complete, the trail section will simultaneously be built out northward to Loridans Drive and south to Wieuca Road.
Excitement continues for the project among residents
“Creating pedestrian and bike-friendly connections between parks in Buckhead was one of the central purposes for building PATH400, and we’re excited to deliver on that promise with this new segment,” Starling told those gathered at the groundbreaking of the new section in November.
Though completion of the latest section of PATH400 is still nearly two years away, Starling said the greenway is a “legacy project” that will greatly enhance the area. Community interest in the completion of PATH400 has been strong with “plenty of excitement” for the project, she added.
“It is a signature connection in regional trail plans…and as an organization, this is our biggest project,” she said. “And frankly, I don’t think anyone at the beginning thought we could get it done. But we put our heads down and got after it. And where we didn’t have the resources, we went out and found them. We have a crazy amount of partners.”
Those partners include the PATH Foundation leading construction management and local funding, the Georgia Department of Transportation, which provides technical aspect oversight and federal funding, and the City of Atlanta, which is matching local funds through TSPLOST revenue.
The latest section will run north into Sandy Springs where the City of Sandy Springs will continue the path further north.
“Essentially, it will open up the entire north Metro Atlanta area to access the Beltline,” Starling said.
What residents should know
As construction takes place, access to Mountain Way Common and roadway access on Mountain Drive will be impacted, Starling outlined in a PATH400 blog post. The post stated pedestrian access to Mountain Way Common could be limited “at times” while bridge construction is underway. This could include the area being “fully closed for an extended period.”
“We know this stinks so we are going to try and keep some access to it, but we are going to err on the side of safety,” Starling wrote.
Meanwhile, some roadway access to Mountain Drive between North Ivy Road NE and Ga. 400 is likely to be closed completely to traffic for an “extended period of time.” Starling said residents will be informed of these closures/restrictions as more details on specifics and timing are available. Those with additional questions or concerns can reach out to Starling at email@example.com or call 404-842-2682.