Extending the Big Creek Greenway
The Big Creek Greenway is a popular multi-use trail that begins in Roswell, Georgia, runs north through Alpharetta to the Fulton-Forsyth County line, and then follows another 16 miles into Forsyth County. Like all multi-use trails, the complete system was not built all at once, and it took years if not decades to realize the majority of the trail implementation. That is what makes this segment of the trail so exciting. There remained a 2-mile gap in the trail from the Marconi Trailhead in Alpharetta to the Alpharetta-Forsyth County line to the north. As Forsyth County continued to build the trail south to the county line, Alpharetta only needed to close this 2-mile gap, to connect the two main branches of the Big Creek Greenway.
Pond worked with the city to study numerous alternative routes, and even once the preferred route was identified, properties changed ownership and so too did trail routes, based on new landowners. Even with changes late in the design process, a viable route was able to be designed and engineered, thanks to the previous studies.
The trail does in fact wind its way along the Big Creek for most of the trail system. This final two-mile segment follows the creek for approximately 1 mile, while the other mile peels away from the creek and exists as a side path along two primary streets in Alpharetta. The trail required a tunnel to pass beneath Windward Parkway, bridges over tributaries to Big Creek, and an elevated trail over wetlands along the way. The trail connects to commercial developments and office buildings, parks, and residential areas.
Pond led the design and engineering for the 2-mile corridor. Our Landscape Architecture team that specializes in trail design managed and guided the project and all supporting disciplines. Pond also provided environmental study and permitting, civil engineering and flood studies for the placement of bridges, and construction administration support services. The project required a complete corridor survey, geotechnical investigation and structural design, and tunnel design and engineering, each of which we coordinated through our trusted partners to provide the city with a complete project team and results.
The opening of this trail was a major milestone in the Big Creek Greenway corridor. The frequent walkers, runners, cyclists, skaters, joggers, and families with pets in tow serve as a testament to how much the community is enjoying these 2 miles and the entire Big Creek Trail system to the fullest.
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