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Silver Comet Trail extension to Atlanta moves forward

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The roughly $10 million project is expected to break ground next year

A paved trail runs off into the woods.
Imagine a peaceful bike ride from downtown to Alabama.
Silver Comet Map

In the not too distant future, Atlantans cycling down the Beltline could potentially make a wrong turn and find themselves in Alabama.

Well, perhaps that level of confusion is unlikely, but a planned extension of the 61.5-mile Silver Comet Trail is expected to one day link the Cobb County end of the paved path with Atlanta and, possibly, the Beltline.

Once that potentially $10 million extension is complete, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to travel from Anniston, Ala., to downtown Atlanta without ever leaving a paved path, according to the Cobb County Courier.

Last week, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners gave the thumbs up for an agreement with the PATH Foundation and CSX Transportation to conduct preliminary engineering studies before connecting the path to the Chattahoochee River and the City of Atlanta, the publication reported.

Because the proposed trail extension would run over and under certain parts of CSX’s right of way, the railroad company would be paid $18,400 to review and approve PATH and the county’s plans.

The engineering studies, according to the CCC, could take the rest of the year, and construction of the path’s extension is slated to kick off in 2020.

CSX is still in the process of properly abandoning some of the track needed to complete the new leg of the trail.

Cobb County’s Department of Transportation and PATH have teamed up to design and fund the project.

PATH is expected to foot 80 percent of the bill, while the county tackles the rest.