Progress pending in Westside on Proctor Creek Greenway Trail, Boone Boulevard Greenway plan

By David Pendered

Atlanta is on the cusp of proceeding with the design and engineering of the long-awaited Proctor Creek Greenway Trail, starting with a complex first phase that is to be coordinated with plans to treat stormwater runoff via natural landscaping.

Proctor Creek, near chattahoochee riverIn a related development, Atlanta is poised to start work on improving the bicycle and pedestrian connectivity across Northside Drive. The work is part of the $4.5 million expansion of the Boone Boulevard Green Infrastructure Project, which crosses the Proctor Creek watershed. Atlanta has already funded $4.5 million of the project.

These two papers are slated to be discussed Tuesday by the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee. If approved, the full council could consider them as early as Oct. 3.

Atlanta intends to pay the PATH Foundation up to $160,000 to develop plans for the first leg of the Proctor Creek trail in conjunction with the city’s Department of Watershed Management, according to the pending legislation.

The first phase of the seven-mile trail is to stretch along Proctor Creek from the north side of Donald Lee Hollowell to the planned Atlanta BeltLine park at the old Bellwood Quarry. The quarry site has come to be known as the Westside Park, though it has not been formally named.

This project is so technically complicated that Atlanta has identified PATH as the only vendor capable of designing a trail around the needs of the stormwater treatment system.

The technical challenges include devising bio retention areas that feature natural landscaping to treat stormwater runoff along Proctor Creek along the trail property; developing reverse cross slope infiltration areas for stormwater drainage; and designing stormwater management and stormwater sewer access points related to the trail on trail property.

Proctor Creek Greenway Trail

Atlanta is preparing to being planning the first leg of the Proctor Creek Greenway Trail. Credit: mindat.org, David Pendered

According to an Aug. 31 memo watershed Commissioner Kishia Powell sent to Adam Smith, the city’s chief procurement officer, stating that PATH is the organization able to carry out the assignment:

  • “These highly complex design and engineering issues that include green infrastructure, stormwater management, trail maintenance and understanding of the Atlanta area topography and watersheds require the unique experience of PATH.
  • “They are the only organization in the state that has the breadth of experience and proven record of success in construction trails, including the Atlanta BeltLine, the Silver Comet and PATH 400. In addition, PATH has a unique history of successful partnerships with local governments to plan, design, build and maintain trail projects. With regard to the Proctor Creek Greenway Trail, PATH has drafted the Master Plan for the Trail, which uniquely qualifies them to provide the design and engineering services for the first phase of the execution of the Master Plan.”

Smith concurred and wrote that competitive sealed bidding does not apply because of the specialized nature of the project. Smith set a six-month limit and $160,000 ceiling on the duration and total price, according to his determination dated Sept. 8.

The Boone Boulevard Green Infrastructure Project calls for reducing the street from four lanes to two, with turn lanes at intersections and occasional median islands, according to the legislation. Bio retention areas are to be built in the right-of-way alongside the road.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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