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TSPLOST funding shortfalls put PATH400 project in jeopardy

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If the city can’t foot its share of the bill, federal help could reportedly be lost, too

A newly paved section of PATH400 in March this year.
PATH400 is slated to span more than five miles and connect more than 100 acres of green space.
Curbed Atlanta

Since news emerged in November that the Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST programs were estimated to reel in $400 million less than initially projected, there’s been plenty of uproar over how the funding shortfall could impact complete streets plans.

Public works projects that would make transportation infrastructure more walkable and bikeable are certainly noble, but other parts of the programs—which Atlanta voters approved in 2015 and 2016, respectively—are at risk of falling by the wayside, too.

Case in point: Buckhead’s PATH400 project, an under-construction, multi-use trail network that could one day link more than 100 acres of green space in the neighborhood, while connecting to the Beltline and paths planned in Brookhaven and Sandy Springs.

According to Atlanta INtown, the PATH400 project is currently banking on $5 million in TSPLOST funds that might never come.

And if the city can’t contribute its share of the project’s cost, almost $7 million in federal funding could go out the window as well.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launched an effort in November to arrange the $940 million worth of Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST projects by order of importance.

Once that prioritization is complete, the city can move forward on $530 million worth of projects.

Construction projects that are currently underway are allowed to continue using money from the Renew Atlanta bonds and TSPLOST tax cash only until their current phase is complete.

That complicates things a bit for PATH400, and Liveable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling told Atlanta INtown she considers the whole project one big phase.

PATH400 already has several open segments and another currently under construction.

Before news broke of the TSPLOST funding shortage, another leg of the trail was slated to connect Lindbergh and Lenox Square.

Starling told the publication she’s actively seeking additional funding to push the project along, but PATH400 is one of many initiatives that could be on the chopping block in Atlanta, in terms of voter-approved cash.