Sandy Springs’ Greenway park repairs from stormwater damage could cost estimated $5M

Erosion along a Sandy Springs park trail could cost the city as much as $5 million in repairs and improvements.

Stormwater is causing major damage on the south side of Abernathy Greenway linear park. The stormwater flows over the trail into Marsh Creek polluting and widening the waterway, Recreation and Parks Director Michael Perry said.

In addition to the streambank, the half-mile pedestrian trail is eroding, he said.

Perry presented details to City Council during a Tuesday work session. He suggested starting the first phase of repairs and park improvements in the middle section of the park where the worst damage is located. That work would cost more than $2 million. The officials decided to wait until a future meeting to move forward saying they want more insight from Atkins engineering consultants who designed the proposed improvements but did not attend the work session.

“We need to have them come out and carry us through the significance of this, what the impact is and implications of further staging this project so we’ve got a better understanding,” Mayor Rusty Paul said.

Abernathy Greenway is two linear parks on the north and south side of Abernathy Road. The larger north side opened in 2014 with nearly seven acres, and has not had the stormwater problems occurring on the other side of the road.

The south park was constructed in 2017 with a 10- to 12-foot wide pedestrian trail extending from Johnson Ferry Road to Roswell Road. Improvements, according to Perry, would include restructured stormwater basins, reconstructing an existing pond, streambank restoration, a raingarden, water quality measures and trail repairs.

In addition, park enhancements would replace the boardwalk bridge as well as add parking, an amphitheater, picnic pavilions public art locations and more.

“My focus would be on…the stormwater drainage erosion control, water quality rain garden and then maybe comeback with the pedestrian facilities …” said Councilman Andy Bauman.