Sidewalk near the intersection of Dallas Highway and Casteel Road in Cobb County. (BECCA GODWIN / BECCA.GODWIN@AJC.COM)

In Progress: Is the Dallas Highway sidewalk going to reach Paulding?

Welcome to "In Progress," a regular column in which Becca Godwin answers reader questions about developments, mostly in Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett and North Fulton. Read previous editions — like this one figuring out what is going on with the old cement factory near the DeKalb Farmers Market — by clicking the hyperlinks at the bottom of this column, where you'll also find information for submitting your own questions. Cheers! 

Reader Joe writes: What is the status/plan around completing the sidewalk project up Dallas Highway to the Paulding line? With the new water line going in will they use that right of way to gap the missing sidewalks on the WEST side of the road? We'd really like to see that path finished - which means you could get from the Paulding county line all the way to Marietta Square (and actually much further) on safe sidewalks... 

 

Before we get started, allow me to thank my colleague and Cobb-expert Ben Brasch. This question was submitted to him in response to his Actual Factuals, like this one answering when Noonday Creek Trail will reach Woodstock (I’m starting to notice a theme here…), and he let me have a stab at it. Thanks, dude. 

Alright, back to Joe’s (first) question.  

For a little history: Last August, a SPLOST project that included a 12-foot wide enhanced sidewalk along the south side of SR 120 (Dallas Highway) from Casteel Road to Villa Rica Way was completed.  

Cobb’s pre-construction manager, James Hudgins, explained via email that the county has completed two sections (from John Ward Road to Barrett Parkway, and from Barrett Parkway to Casteel Road) of a multi-section plan to place wide or multi-use sidewalks along the south side of Dallas Highway. A section from Midway Road about 1,000 feet to the west has also been finished, along with smaller sections completed by developers in front of their developments.

But, as was pointed out, none of that quite connects to the Paulding County line. 

I wanted to see this sidewalk myself, so I took a drive down the section from John Ward to Casteel. I can see the appeal here. It gives locals the option to comfortably bike or walk alongside a high-traffic road, passing by shops and restaurants at complexes like The Avenue West Cobb. If the sidewalk were longer, it could be a serious transportation alternative for the area.  

Sidewalk at the intersection of Dallas Highway and John Ward Road. (BECCA GODWIN / BECCA.GODWIN@AJC.COM)

So, Joe, would you like the good news or the bad news first? 

I telepathically heard you say “good,” so we'll start with this: It is part of the master plan for the wide sidewalk to reach the county line.  

Now for the bad… “Currently there is no recognized funding for completing the wide sidewalk to the Paulding County Line,” Hudgins said.  

As for Joe’s second question about the missing sidewalks, Hudgins confirmed they’re in the process of planning to design the gap between John Ward Road and Marietta's wide sidewalk through the Kennesaw Mountain National Battleground along the highway.  

What’s even better: “Funding is available through GDOT and SPLOST 2016 funding,” according to Hudgins.

There you have it. That's all I got.  

Dallas Highway sidewalk (BECCA GODWIN / BECCA.GODWIN@AJC.COM)

...

Oh, what's that I hear? You want an encore? I'd be happy to.  

Bonus question: Becky aka Buttercup (yes, seriously) wants to know if there’s any more news on the golf and entertainment facility proposed for Cobb County 

That's easy enough to answer. 

Whitney Crouse, a Mosaic co-founder, told me that the plan for AllStar Golf “has been agreed to,” and legal documents with Cobb County should be finalized by the end of the month.  

Construction is planned to begin within 90 to 120 days, if not sooner, according to Crouse. 

Hopefully that builds you up, Buttercup. 

I, Becca Godwin, am a staff writer with the AJC and a lover of metro Atlanta. To submit “In Progress” questions, contact me at becca.godwin@ajc.com, @BeccaJGGodwin on Twitter or via the form below.

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