Snellville to connect Towne Center and Briscoe Park with greenway trail

Snellville plans to connect its city via greenway trails. City Council signed off on phase two that will connect The Grove at Towne Center to T.W. Briscoe Park. (HYOSUB SHIN / HYOSUB.SHIN@AJC.COM)

Snellville plans to connect its city via greenway trails. City Council signed off on phase two that will connect The Grove at Towne Center to T.W. Briscoe Park. (HYOSUB SHIN / HYOSUB.SHIN@AJC.COM)

Snellville officials are working to join other Gwinnett cities in creating a web of trails to give pedestrians and bikers a new way to get around town.

On Monday, City Council approved the second phase of the city’s greenway trail that will connect The Grove at Towne Center to T.W. Briscoe Park. The $606,000 phase will start at the corner of Oak Road and U.S. 78 and end at the park off Lenora Church Road.

The trail will run from Oak Road to Main Street on the side of Church on Main, the former First Baptist Church Snellville. It will then connect to Church Street and to Fremont Street before veering onto a path to the Briscoe Park public use area.

“Residents are looking for safe and easy ways to walk or bike around the city and our Greenway Trail system does just that,” said Mayor Barbara Bender in an emailed statement. “Making the connections between each of our recreation areas and The Grove at Snellville Towne Center expands exercise and mobility opportunities in the city.”

The costs of the new trail will be covered by $385,000 in grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the remainder from SPLOST funds. City officials expect to break ground on it within one month and complete it within nine months.

The new trail link will link to the first $1.1 million phase of the project, a .7-mile trail that runs through the city’s historic cemetery, behind Wisteria Drive and into The Grove. The first phase opened to the public in summer 2020.

The trails will give direct access to The Grove at Towne Center currently under construction near City Hall. The Grove will act as a formal downtown, something the city has lacked in the past. It will include a new library branch, apartments and 50,000 square feet of shopping, dining, recreation and business space.

Local leaders want to construct several other greenway trails by 2040. A greenway trail plan calls for a 4.5-mile path that would connect Snellville to Lawrenceville by following North Road and Old Snellville Highway with a stop at Alexander Park.

An ambitious 5-mile trail proposed for U.S. 78 would link Snellville and the south Gwinnett area to the existing trail network around Stone Mountain. Officials hope to link to the web of existing and future county trails to give bikers and pedestrians a way to get to their destination without driving.

Other cities in Gwinnett County, like Suwanee, have built greenway systems with several entry points around their towns. Sugar Hill is in the process of building a 16-mile trail that will cross Ga. 20 and loop around the city.