Alpharetta's Big Creek Greenway grew by another 4,435 feet on Monday as the city cut the ribbon on a section connecting Webb Bridge Parkway to Marconi Drive.
The city spent $1.7 million on designing and building this 0.84-mile section, which had its own challenges. It has the largest bridge on the greenway at 121 feet. And the 90-foot culvert under Webb Bridge Road is the largest in the system also.
The greenway, which began in 1995, now extends for 8.2 miles from Marconi Drive in the north to Mansell Road in the south. But since it connects to the Roswell trail system at Mansell Road, those out for recreation have even more miles of trail to access.
Jaeger Company-J.B. Trimble designed this latest section of the greenway, and JJE Constructors was the contractor that built it. Engineering/Public
Works Director Pete Sewczwicz provided project oversight and supervision with his staff: Scott Campbell, Jared Wilson, Geoff Sarra and Randy Henderson.
"We spent as a city about $8 to $9 million on the greenway system. This almost completes it. We're in the process of hopefully interconnecting with Forsyth County. We've already done that with Roswell," DeRito said.
"It's really a diamond in the rough for an asset for the city taxpayers and visitors that come here and work here daily," he said.
Alpharetta has been able to use bond money approved by city voters and hotel/motel tax funds to help construct the greeway.
DeRito said Alpharetta's greenway system was the catalyst of similar trails in the region.
In 1995 Cousins made the first donation of land for the greenway, which lies primarily in flood plain along Big Creek. The first staff members coordinating the project were Rob Warrilow and Marie Garrett. The first two sections of the greenway opened in 1997, but did not connect. That happened in 2002 when the middle section was completed.
Users of the greenway will find emergency call boxes and benches every half a mile.
Staff is working on site selection to extend the greenway to the Forsyth County line to connect with that county's own greenway trail system.
The greenway system has become very popular for joggers, walkers, roller bladers and bicyclists.
City Councilman Jim Paine said that during the 10-15 minute ceremony 18 or 20 people were either jogging, walking or bicycling coming through on the greenway, causing them to hold the ribbon up to let them pass.
"And it show how popular that is even in the middle of the morning already before it officially opened, it was pretty amazing," Paine said.