The $11.6 million Noonday Creek Trail is expected to be completed at the beginning of next year, said Mason Zimmerman, chairman of the Town Center Area Community Improvement District’s board.
Once completed, the trail will connect to the Kennesaw Trail on the west at Cobb Parkway and Bells Ferry Road on the east.
It’s a project that was first brought to the table 10 years ago.
“The idea that you could be on a nature trail through a regional activity center was really interesting and exciting for us,” Zimmerman said. “I think at the end of the day, it’s going to be a pretty amazing thing.”
Providing an option for walking or biking in the busy retail area piqued the district’s interest and drew support from the Cobb Department of Transportation.
“Another interesting feature of the trail is the complete wilderness of the creek and adjacent trail but realizing it is located in one of the busiest, most developed areas of the county,” said Daniel McDuff, deputy director of the county DOT.
Funding for the project was split between the CID, county, state and the National Park Service with the state footing $4 million. The CID chipped in $2.9 million with another $3.9 million coming from the county. The federal parks service contributed $600,000.
Sidewalks and trails are some of the most requested infrastructure additions, McDuff said, pointing to the success of the Silver Comet Trail as a path that is popular despite being in an area busy with vehicle traffic.
“We have seen over and over how this car-heavy area utilized these transportation facilities,” he said.
Derek Teasley, manager of Alpha Graphics, at 2965 Ring Road, Kennesaw, hopes it will increase traffic and visibility for his business.
He’s already noticed people taking advantage of parts of the trail that have been completed near his business next to Town Center Mall.
“It’s a great amenity for the community being that it connects Kennesaw Mountain and some of the other trails. It just makes Kennesaw and the Town Center area more pedestrian friendly,” Teasley said. “It’s one of those amenities that you can get out and enjoy and do so over lunch break.”