The next phase of PATH400 will add some unique features to the 5-mile trail. Denise Starling with Livable Buckhead was kind enough to give me a tour of the route from Wieuca Road to Loridans Drive. Denise has been in charge of the PATH400 project from the beginning, and she has been instrumental in making the project such a success to this point.
Mountain Way Common
We began our tour at Mountain Way Common. This unique stretch along Nancy Creek has been transformed into a picturesque 9-acre park by Livable Buckhead, neighbors, and local sponsors. The area was bisected by the construction of GA400. Now the underpass houses a beautiful, natural space with surprising views of the highway overpass some 80’ overhead.
The Northern Route
The next phase of PATH400 will extend north from Wieuca Road along the west side of GA400. When the path reaches the overpass at Mountain Way Common, it will cross under GA400. Here the path will split and connect with the Mountain Way Common nature trail loop. This connection will also create a PATH400 trailhead at N Ivy Rd. PATH 400 will continue north along the east side of GA400 via a raised bridge that will span the park beneath the roadway overpass.
The path will continue north just outside of the sound barrier wall until it reaches Loridans Drive. This will connect the recently created Loridans Park to the rest of the PATH400 system. There will be a series of switchbacks to take PATH400 under the Loridans Drive overpass and down to the highway level near the former toll plaza. The path will continue north along the highway until it reaches the city limit. The City of Sandy Springs will take over and continue the project from there.
Engineering the Path
There is a lot of planning involved with this section of the path. This section alone involves paving, retaining walls, bridges, and more. Developers are required to keep the grade below 8%, which requires extensive engineering along the steeper sections of the route.
Denise and her team are working on permits now, and they are expecting to begin construction of this phase by summer of 2022. She expects the project to be completed 18-24 months after that. If you have seen PATH400 so far, then you are probably as excited as we are to see the next piece of the path come together!