Livable Buckhead Dec. 18 announced it has reached a major milestone in the development of the Path400 Greenway Trail, identifying funding to complete the 5.2-mile greenway in Buckhead. The funding will come from a combination of city and federal sources.
The Atlanta City Council voted to allot $5 million in transportation special-purpose local option sales tax (TSPLOST) funding to the project, while the Atlanta Regional Commission included $7.42 million in its transportation improvement program project list that allocates funding from the Federal Highway Administration. Another $240,000 in federal highway funds are slated for design of a Path400 extension from Loridans Drive to the Sandy Springs city limit.
“Getting this support from Atlanta City Council and Atlanta Regional Commission underscores Path400’s value as a critical piece of the region’s transportation infrastructure,” Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling said in a news release. “The trail is already making it easier for people to get around Buckhead on foot and by bike. When we complete the full 5.2 miles and when the BeltLine and northern segments are ready to connect to Path400, it will be a true game-changer.”
Path400 was on the list of TSPLOST projects approved by voters in November 2016, but funds had not been committed to the project. District 7 Councilman Howard Shook advocated on behalf of Path400, submitting legislation that allocates funds from the second year of TSPLOST and lining up support from Mayor Kasim Reed and the other council members. That legislation was approved by the full council Nov. 20.
“The competition for these dollars is fierce, so I want to thank Mayor Reed for recognizing the importance of this project, and ensuring that it was fully funded before leaving office,” Shook said.
The commission’s TIP project list will go through a 30-day public comment period that begins Dec. 18. Following that, the list must be approved by the commission and Georgia Regional Transit Authority boards before it becomes final.
“Based on current construction estimates, this funding should be enough to finish the original 5.2 miles of the greenway,” said Starling. “We may need to do additional fundraising in the future to support programming on Path400 or to add new features, but the TSPLOST and TIP funds are a huge win and we’re thrilled to get them.”
Construction is expected to begin in January on a one-mile segment of Path400 that will run from Miami Circle and across Georgia 400 to the back of Lenox Square mall. This is a critical piece of the trail, as it will provide access to the Lenox MARTA station via a spur trail being built by the Buckhead Community Improvement District as part of its East Paces Ferry Road complete street project. Construction on the Miami Circle to 400 segment will take about one year.
For more information about Path400, visit www.path400greenway.org.