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The City of Chamblee recently was awarded federal grant funding through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to extend the city’s Rail Trail. The Rail Trail is a multiuse trail for pedestrians and cyclists that currently connects Keswick Park to the Mid-City District, an area that has experienced a resurgence in recent years. Several major mixed-use projects have revitalized industrial sites, and city-funded infrastructure projects have created a walkable, transit-oriented hub near the city’s MARTA rail station.
Since 2000, the City of Chamblee worked to bring the Rail Trail along the abandoned Roswell Junction Railroad line to life. Portions of Phase 2 of the Rail Trail are currently or soon to be under construction. Phase 2 extends the multiuse trail on street along Peachtree Road from McGaw Drive to Pierce Drive and off street between Chamblee Tucker Road and Pierce Drive in the Mid-City District. This phase of the project is funded with local Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenues approved by voters in 2017. The city’s use of local and special funds to expand the Rail Trail likely helped the city secure this additional federal funding.
“Oftentimes agencies distributing federal funds are looking for a commitment from the local government to ensure that federal transportation dollars are leveraged to the fullest extent possible,” said Matt Dickison, Chamblee’s Planning and Development Director. “This grant award recognizes the Mayor and City Council’s commitment to expand multimodal transportation options in Chamblee and ensures that pedestrians and bicycles can travel more safely throughout the city.”
Phase 3 of the Rail Trail will extend the multiuse trail from Pierce Drive through the Town Center district, which surrounds the city’s current municipal complex to the Doraville Assembly Development. A combination of on-street and off-street trails are proposed along with a connection along Chamblee Dunwoody Road to New Peachtree Road on the south side of the Norfolk Southern and MARTA rail lines. This connection will allow the city to expand the city’s multiuse trails throughout the city and to neighboring communities. The Rail Trail project was eligible for funding as part of ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program, in which the City of Chamblee has been a part from the program’s creation.
“Because of the ARC’s LCI planning grant the city received in 2001, we are the transit-oriented Chamblee you see today,” said Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson. “This funding will help further the vision we have of interconnected cities because of the trail network.”
Chamblee received $660,000 for design of the project, which requires a local match of 20 percent, or $132,000. The total project cost is approximately $6.6 million. Design for the project is scheduled for early 2021. ARC only announced 2021 funds because of current economic conditions related to COVID-19. Chamblee was one of five jurisdictions that were selected during this initial round of funding announcements. According to ARC, additional funding for future years will be announced later this year.
For further information on the City of Chamblee, visit www.chambleega.gov or 770-986-5010.