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$2 million on way for sidewalks

LAWRENCEVILLE - Walking in Gwinnett could become a lot easier, thanks to a half-dozen grants from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

This week, officials announced a total of nearly $2 million for projects throughout Gwinnett involving sidewalks, trails and bikeways projects in locations from Duluth to Loganville.

The largest Transportation Enhancement grant is $600,000 for multi-use trails in Lawrenceville.

Mayor Bobby Sikes said the money would go to a three-and-a-half-mile trail to connect Rhodes Jordan Park to a 39-acre tract on Sugarloaf Parkway, which will be built as a park.

"We'll get the plans drawn up and start working on it," he said.

Walking on Pleasant Hill Road could also become much safer because of a $350,000 grant to the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District.

District Director Dave Rosselle said the funds would be added to $540,000 in county sales tax funds and $180,000 from the district to build sidewalks from Breckinridge Boulevard to Satellite Boulevard on the busy road.

With a transit hub located near the mall, Rosselle said so many people walk down Pleasant Hill that grass has been worn down on the shoulder.

"There is an ongoing concern about safety," he said. "It's just horrendous there right around the interstate. You can see from how well-worn the path is how much this is needed."

Other Gwinnett County projects receiving grant funds include:

•an extension of the Western Gwinnett Bikeway along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard through the city of Duluth, $300,000

•an expansion of the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, $125,000

•sidewalks along Davenport Road in Duluth, $150,000

•the first phase of a scenic trail along the Yellow River proposed by the U.S. Highway 78 Community Improvement District, $150,000

•a downtown pedestrian sidewalk addition in Loganville, which will connect City Hall to a proposed library and a proposed park, $250,000

•a trail along Jackson Creek in Lilburn, $500,000.

Money was also earmarked for four Hall County projects:

•Rock Creek greenway connector, $300,000

•Gillsville trail and downtown streetscape, $100,000

•Atlanta Highway bicycle/pedestrian tunnel, $622,709

•Oakwood sidewalk improvement project, $250,000.