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U.S. Highway 29 study shows trail opportunity

LILBURN — The Lilburn Community Improvement District unveiled the results from a study commissioned to explore the potential of the U.S. Highway 29 corridor Thursday, with an emphasis on trails, sidewalks and infrastructure.

The six-month study was aimed at analyzing the four-mile stretch of U.S. 29 between Ronald Reagan Parkway and Rockbridge Road, taking into account transportation, land use and urban design to create a “boulevard of opportunity.”

“What our study has shown is that there is an opportunity to create a trail network, not only in the city limits but in the greater Lilburn community,” Lilburn CID Executive Director Gerald McDowell said.

“That trail network is actually going to encourage some re-development of the area as well.”

Breaking the stretch of road and surrounding acreage into four distinct project areas, the study included very few roadway projects. Instead, it’s focused on trails and greenways and three “very aged” retail centers, McDowell said.

“What the study has shown us is that we really need to re-develop those centers,” he said.

The CID’s preliminary emphasis, McDowell said, will likely be on the new Town Center area. The city of Lilburn is already in the process of moving City Hall from the downtown area up to Highway 29 at Main Street, with a new public library in the same building.

The CID plans to “add our car to that train” and begin focusing on that area, with new trails and a revitalization of one of those aging shopping centers, McDowell said.

Said Larry Kaiser, an engineer that worked on the study: “A trail community is what we eventually hope it will turn out to be in the next 10 or 15 years.”

The $120,000 study was funded by $100,000 of SPLOST funds. For more information and updates on the project, visit www.highway29study.com.