Happy trails: Duluth gives funds for bikeway

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Nearly a decade after officials began planning a bikeway stretch in Duluth, the money is in place to move forward with the project.

With miles of the Western Gwinnett Bikeway in place on Peachtree Parkway, South Old Peachtree Road, Medlock Bridge Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, officials made moves this week to line up grants to move forward on another piece.

The county accepted nearly $500,000 from the city of Duluth and another nearly $1 million in federal funds, allowing officials to move toward accepting bids.

"It's a long time in coming," said Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, who began working on the project while mayor of Duluth. "I know the city and county, we're both just really thrilled to see it come to fruition. It's a great partnership to get this bikeway done for the citizens."

Crews are working on one other section, which connects Pinckneyville Park Community Center to Medlock Bridge. Duluth officials will cut a ribbon on the Rogers Bridge section on June 5, and the county could move forward with the construction of the Peachtree Industrial portion inside the city limits, which will continue the bikeway from its current end at Summer Chase Drive to Pleasant Hill Road.

Later this year, another project could move forward to connect from there to the Rogers Bridge Trail, nearly completing the network of 10-foot wide multi-use paths -- except for a long-awaited pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River.

"It really provides a nice network of trails on that side of the county," said Deputy Transportation Director Alan Chapman.

The final ingredient will be the bridge, where officials from both Gwinnett and Fulton counties hope to stabilize the historic Rogers Bridge, a 100-year-old crossing no longer in use for case.

Local officials said they are hoping for some help in funding the project from the new city of Johns Creek, as Fulton, Gwinnett and Duluth leaders have already pledged support.