05 Feb 2018
fyi – GA’s Energy Cities at Work
4th Quarter, 2017
The Romance of public parks, plaza, downtown living, places for recreation, entertainment and great dining – a truly livable, walkable city – is a redevelopment love story coming to life in the city of Acworth. “This is a journey that our community is on. It is already 15 years in the making,” explains Mayor Tommy Allegood.
Acworth began the process with street improvements, strategic parking options and a $2 million initiative to silence the train traffic at all downtown railroad crossings. Now, the community is a step closer to a long-awaited, 450-acre redevelopment project with new amenities, revamped homes, 140 acres of green space, downtown shops, and a unique pedistrian bridge to connect it all. The efforts include a new $11 million community center, an arts building converted from a historic downtown home, traffic reconfiguration to improve access and a $1.2 million walking overpass.
The four-story pedistrian structure connects the city on both sides of the railrooad tracks. “There isn’t another overpass in the state of Georgia exactly like this,” explains the Mayor. The overpass will be lighted at night and connected by two towers on either side of the rail tracks.
The city leadership estimates the complete project could cost as much as $30 million over the next 10 years, a combination of public and private investment. A public-private partnership is a redevelopment tool that typically reaps significant private investment when local governments make infrastructure improvements in the built environment. In this case, the city’s contribution includes the construction of the pedestrian bridge, road improvements and a $500,000 replica train depot at Main and Lemon streets that will house public restrooms and a new museum dedicated to telling the city’s history. “We’re talking about a giant step for our redevelopment,” Allegood said.
Learn more about GA’s Energy Cities in this issue of ‘fyi’ including the power of connectivity, Georgia’s food business and innovations in city policy.