Construction will soon begin on a trail segment that will one day link Cumberland to Marietta following action taken Tuesday by the Cobb Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners approved a more than $6.2 million contract with Woodstock-based Astra Group Inc. to construct a nearly 1-mile portion of the Bob Callan Trail, which, once completed, will span 4 miles from Terrell Mill Road on the north end to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in the south. The approved contract will see a 10-foot-wide trail constructed from the existing Bob Callan Trailhead on Interstate North Parkway to the Interstate North Parkway crossing of Rottenwood Creek.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is providing nearly $5 million toward the contract, with the Cumberland Community Improvement District’s portion estimated at $1.2 million, according to county documents. Though the trail itself is a Cumberland CID project, the county has to approve the contract as it involves federal funding through GDOT, said Jim Wilgus, the county’s transportation director.
“Legally, whenever you receive federal money through GDOT, the GDOT money comes through us — it cannot go directly to the Cumberland CID,” Wilgus said. “We actually run the project for GDOT and Cumberland CID because that’s the way that it works.”
Cobb will put $20,000 toward the project for a construction administration fee, which county commissioners also approved Tuesday. The county will also provide construction oversight and maintenance of the trail once completed.
Wilgus said notice to proceed on the trail is expected to be given this week, with construction estimated to be completed within two years.
The 2-mile southern portion of the Bob Callan Trail was completed in 2007 at a cost of $4 million — $1.3 million from the Cumberland CID and the remainder coming from the county and the state, according to CID documents.
The trail currently follows Rottenwood Creek and stretches 2 miles north from the Chattahoochee River to the trailhead on Interstate North Parkway, near the Weather Channel’s offices. The trailhead is just across Interstate 75 from SunTrust Park.
“It’s part of a much larger system,” Wilgus said. “Although we call it Bob Callan here, it’s also called the Rottenwood Creek Trail that will extend all the way from the city of Marietta and connects all the way to the Mountain to River Trail. Eventually, this trail is part of a much larger network, and it’s absolutely critical,” Wilgus said. “When Marietta connects it into the Mountain to River Trail, then you’ll also be connected to Kennesaw Mountain and the Town Center area.”
Malaika Rivers, executive director of the Cumberland CID, said the trail project once fully completed will be an amenity to the Cumberland area as well as the region.
“The Bob Callan Trail is Cumberland’s connection to national parkland, and I think it goes without saying that everybody benefits from being connected to national parkland. You can walk outside your apartment or your house, and within a couple miles, you’re in a beautifully wooded area,” Rivers said. “All of that adds value to the community. It adds value to the commercial properties, and the residential properties for sure.”
Rivers said the last 1-mile segment of the Bob Callan Trail — which will continue along Rottenwood Creek and extend to Terrell Mill Road — is likely to cost about $5 million, which would bring the cost of the 4 mile trail to at least $15.2 million.
Some but not all design work has been done toward the last segment, she said, and CID officials will have to secure funding for the project. No timeline has been set on it, as its completion is “several years out,” she added.