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$3 million for Big Creek Greenway renovation proposed in federal bill
Big Creek Greenway

Forsyth County’s Big Creek Greenway may soon receive federal funds for a renovation project.

In the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation – or INVEST – in America Act, a $547 billion surface transportation bill, $3 million has been set aside for a renovation and replacement project on the greenway.

“As the representative for Georgia’s 7th District, one of my top priorities is ensuring that Gwinnett and Forsyth residents are maximizing all available government resources,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, who represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, said in a news release.

“For that reason, I was proud to nominate a number of consequential projects to improve mobility and economic development while also building our communities’ wonderful parks and trails. I am glad to see five projects in Georgia’s 7th District were accepted for inclusion into the surface reauthorization bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to get these important priorities across the finish line.”

Bourdeaux is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and voted to advance to the bill from the committee.

Other nearby projects included in the plan are the $2.4 million for a Cherokee County area transportation system headquarters, $5 million for a pedestrian bridge over Hwy. 20 in the city of Sugar Hill, $4.8 million for a Lawrenceville area park and ride, $5 million for a Gwinnett Place Mall transit center and Mall of Georgia bus service and $5 million for the Atlanta Beltline.

The INVEST in America Act isn’t the first shot at rehabbing aging sections of the greenway, which first opened in 2009.

In 2019, Forsyth County Commissioners voted to move ahead with plans to use concrete decks with steel framing to help deal with issues like wooden supports breaking and the nearby creek flooding which damages the walkway and leaves silt behind.

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Greenway Chart
In 2019, Forsyth County Commissioners were shown conditions of the Big Creek Greenway from McFarland Parkway to Bethelview Road, which was broken down into segments and given a ranking from 1 (needs replacement) to 5 (looks new) based on structure deterioration, erosion, siltation, excess mildew or fungi, slab settlement and structural damages.

At the time, commissioners approved $7 million for the work starting at McFarland Parkway and going northward as funding allows and opted to keep the greenway at 12-feet wide rather than a recommendation to widen it to 16 feet.

The work was expected to be done in phases over three years and cost between $22.8 million and $38 million. In total, about 258,000 square feet of existing boardwalk needs to be replaced in the project.

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