Lawrenceville – A draft Gwinnett Countywide Trails Master Plan unveiled on Feb. 21 envisions a network of County trails tying in with trails by cities and community improvement districts to create a seamless, interconnected web of a bike and pedestrian pathways for recreation, commuting or running errands.
As part of the 320-mile network of trails, the study proposes nine “Signature Trails,” regionally significant trails with amenities, connectivity between destinations and other defining features that will set the standard for the county and the region. Some, such as the Sugar Hill Greenway, is being built by cities. Some will stretch across multiple cities and connect to adjacent jurisdictions. The long-term goal, which may take decades to implement depending on funding, will be realized incrementally.
Many of the Signature Trails were included in the plan’s Core Trail Network, a series of trails that are envisioned to be built by 2040. The plan recommended some quick-win projects, such as the Western Gwinnett Bikeway, a proposed 18-mile trail located along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from Suwanee to Peachtree Corners, and part of the Harbins Greenway, a 17.4-mile trail connecting Harbins Park to Bay Creek Park to Tribble Mill Park to Loganville.
One major project discussed is the Chattahoochee Trail Network, a potential 100-mile, regional trail along the river from Buford Dam to Newnan that would require partnerships among multiple agencies. Gwinnett officials have already met with the National Park Service and surrounding cities to explore ways to help build the trail.
The trails master plan, which was the result of a Board of Commissioners strategy session, was developed with public input as well as buy-in from multiple county agencies working in tandem with cities and community improvement districts.
The study settled on two types of trails – the off-road trail, a concrete path up to 14 feet wide that follows its own alignment or possibly a stream or utility corridor and costs between $3.2 million and $3.5 million per mile, and a side path, an asphalt trail that runs adjacent to roadways with a buffer between users and traffic and costs between $2.4 million and $2.5 million per mile.
Possible revenue sources would include SPLOST, cities, CIDs, state and federal funds, nonprofits, institutions and private entities, such as developers.
The plan will be reviewed by the Board of Commissioners for approval. Click here to view the master plan presented to the Board of Commissioners.