Abernathy Road work stalls greenway

Sandy Springs’ $13 million greenway project has stalled as due to delays in the widening of Abernathy Road.

The 20-acre Abernathy Greenway Park is a year behind schedule, according to the city officials. Much of the construction cannot begin until the completion of certain phases of the Abernathy Road project.

In addition to the widening of the road, other work on the park has been delayed by weather. The park is scheduled to open in early 2014. The delay will not cost taxpayers more money since construction costs are not anticipated to increase.

The construction estimate for the park was $13.6 million, which did not include costs associated with right of way acquisition.

The land acquisition costs totaled around $3.7 million, a cost shared with Cobb County, which borders Abernathy Road to the north. There will also be $800,000 in federal transportation enhancement funds used for this phase, Sharon Kraun, Communications Director for the City of Sandy Springs, said.

“The park is important to the community because it is a major part of the city’s plan to address the paucity of parks and green space we inherited when we became a city seven years ago,” City Councilman Chip Collins said. “It will also provide a place for the residents of surrounding neighborhoods to use as a part of their daily routines of exercising, walking the dog and playing with their kids.”

The park will feature lighted walking trails, playgrounds, lawn and picnic areas, bicycle lanes, as well as gazebo, covered pavilion and water fountain.

The city is accepting bids for the next phase of the park which will include the construction of the bathrooms, walking trails, parking lot and installation of grass, trees and shrubs. Playable sculptures will also be installed within the park for not only decoration, but for children to climb on.

The City Council and Georgia Department of Transportation have to approve the contractor within the next few weeks. Bids are due back February 21.

The City Council approved the installation of significant landscaping within the median on Abernathy this week. The area will be taking on a park-like appearance by spring, Collins said.