Last October, Buckhead’s PATH400 greenway embarked on one of its most tricky segments: a wooded course that would snake between two MARTA rail lines, an active Norfolk Southern freight railroad, and even a swampy section dammed by beavers.
Ten months later, completion is near for the multi-use trail link between two Buckhead shopping, working, and dining nodes—Miami Circle and the Lenox area. And this northern cousin of the Atlanta Beltline, which is planned to eventually stretch 5.2 miles, is about 80 percent done.
Finishing touches for the PATH400 piece that’s quite visible from its namesake highway might surprise visitors, project spearhead Denise Starling, Livable Buckhead’s executive director, tells Curbed Atlanta.
The segment is meant to function as an off-street bridge between south and north Buckhead, and everything from artwork and fences to trail gateways is being tweaked to make an impression.
“We’re working through all of the details to be 100 percent certain, but [aspects pictured in new renderings] are very, very likely to happen,” Starling wrote via email.
Particularly interesting could be a tall gateway concept at the top of Miami Circle, near Eclipse di Luna restaurant, and fencing that doubles as signage along Ga. Highway 400. An opening celebration is scheduled for October 20.
“We may do a soft opening of some sort in the interim, but have not nailed down the final schedule yet,” Starling wrote. “It’s a little fluid at this point because there are so many cooks in the kitchen.”
PATH400 opened its first phase, which connects Old Ivy Road to Tower Place, in 2015. Once the current project wraps, just a few smaller pieces will be left unbuilt.
South of the current path, segments are planned from Lindbergh Drive down to Garson Drive, along Adina Drive.
And to the north, the trail will run from Wieuca Road to Loridans Drive—the largest remaining gap, and what could be the link to planned trails in Sandy Springs and as far north as Roswell. The goal is now to build that section in fiscal 2021, Starling said.
“We’re underway with updating the design to meet federal guidelines, since we had to go the federal funding route on that one,” she said.
Major funding for PATH400 has otherwise come from a city-approved TSPLOST allotment of $5 million and $7.4 million from Atlanta Regional Commission’s transportation improvement program.
Tickets to the October 20 “Party on the PATH” grand-opening event are available through Livable Buckhead.