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Chastain Park path to widen by eight feet
by Caroline Young
May 22, 2013 11:52 AM | 2489 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Plans are in the works to widen the walking path in Chastain Park on Powers Ferry Road from 4 feet to 12 feet. Through the Walk Chastain Project, the Chastain Park Conservancy spearheaded the efforts beginning last fall.

Phase one of the project was to raise $80,000 to conduct a survey of the entire path along Powers Ferry and come up with a design.

Now preliminary designs are completed with an estimation of about $2 million for total project costs.

“That number will vary depending on the final design,” said J.P. Matzigkeit, the conservancy’s advisory board chairman. “It will vary significantly based on what we decide to do with utilities. If we bury utilities, it could be $2.5 million. If we just moved poles, it could be a million and a half.”

Conservancy Executive Director Rosa McHugh said one concern from the public was how their property would be affected by the project.

“The engineers [Lowe Engineers and Site Solutions LA] have been great about how to minimize that impact by design,” she said.

Matzigkeit said the conservancy is now taking donations and comments on its website about the design from the public, the city of Atlanta and the American Golf Co., which has the lease with the city for all golf courses in Atlanta, including the North Fulton Golf Course at Chastain Park.

Then, the conservancy must get the design approved by the city.

McHugh said the conservancy will hopefully kick off the project’s capital campaign in the early part of 2014.

“We’ll have a commitment from the city and the PATH Foundation [which builds the paths]. We’ll fundraise through foundation and corporate support,” she said.

And Matzigkeit said Walk Chastain is one of Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean’s high-priority projects.

“She has committed to finding funding from the city of Atlanta, hopefully half,” he said.

Both Matzigkeit and McHugh said the main focus of the project is safety.

“We feel it is important to continue the loop and allow neighborhoods to be more pedestrian friendly,” McHugh said, “and also help vehicular traffic and slow down people on Powers Ferry.”

Matzigkeit said widening the path will slow cars down by narrowing the road on Powers Ferry.

“It is also going to separate cars from pedestrians with a physical barrier between them,” he said. “Right now there’s not even a curb. We’re going to have a 3-foot strip between cars and walkers. It’s going to have a wooden guard rail like you see in national parks, reinforced with steel.”

Plus, Matzigkeit said the project includes landscaping and netting to protect people from getting hit by golf balls.

“We’ve been really lucky no major accident has happen,” McHugh said.

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