Public Projects Construction Update – July 2022

Sugar Hill Greenway

The city’s contractor, Tri Scapes, has completed an almost 3 mile long section from the corner of Church and West Broad Streets to Level Creek Rd across from the new Gold Mine Park. Tri Scapes has installed both bridges and most of the boardwalk in this, the most natural of the greenway segments to date.  Many of the project’s natural segments follow the old Georgia DOT right-of-way for the outer perimeter project and take visitors through many of the most scenic places in the city.  A pedestrian crossing signal proposed for the Level Creek Road crossing near the back entrance to Gwinnett Church (just south/west of Markim Forest subdivision) will be activated once the trail is closer to completion and the county approves the installation.  The Bethany Church parking area and trail section under Whitehead Road are nearing completion and should be ready to open up soon.

Greenway Trail Bridge No. 2 – Deck poured and Boardwalk Segments Under Construction.

Bethany Church trail head – under construction

The contract for signage on the trail has been let and design is under construction now. The Friends of the Greenway are assisting with selections and are very excited to be involved with the project. It will consist of pylon signs, maps, mileage markers and location information signs. Some solar lighting will be incorporated at strategic intersections.

Sugar Hill Greenway – Background

The Sugar Hill greenway trail is a transformative investment in greenspace, alternative transportation and recreation opportunity.  The benefits of the trail have been described in terms of economics by way of improved property values, health effects by way of improved activity levels, environmental protections by highlighting the natural environment encircling the city, and traffic demand reductions by decreasing reliance on automobile trips (to recreation, restaurant and shopping destinations).  Reference Sugar Hill’s greenway trail master plan website for more information about this and future phases.

Project Highlights

  • The trail was envisioned in 2014, with the first trail segment completed in 2018 along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
  • The greenway is comprised of 11.5- linear miles of greenspace and will be connected by nearly 16 miles of walking and biking trail sewing together key destinations/nodes in the city.
  • The trail will be 10 to 12 feet in width and be paved with concrete along roadways and asphalt in natural areas.
  • The first phase connects downtown with (3) three parks and (2) trail head parking lots clockwise from downtown to Gwinnett Church and westward to Whitehead Road.
  • The entire trail is expected to cost about $17 – $20 million by the time future phases are constructed.
  • Most of the first phase is constructed with SPLOST (voluntary sales tax dollars) funds.
  • Phase 1 (5 miles) anticipated completion date – Q1, 2022.

 The TSI contract will encompass about 4 and a half miles of trail construction, beginning at the intersection of Level Creek Road and Church Street and extending both along roadways and through natural areas to Whitehead Road, temporarily ending at a trailhead parking lot at the Bethany UMC Church located at 144 Whitehead Road near the new bridge.

Gold Mine Park. TriScapes (TSI) is the city’s contractor also for this small (2.4AC with 7 acres of greenspace), but important park.   The final touches for this trail head and passive park project are taking shape.  The asphalt parking area, landscaping, and trail connections are complete to the south and east with guardrail, dumpster enclosure and the trail tie-in to the boardwalk to the west remaining to finish up.  A team of city staff is working on a viewing platform to showcase the mine’s entrance and provide access to what, once was a key part of Sugar Hill’s history.

The park serves as a trailhead on the city’s greenway and offers a chance for guests to learn more about the city’s gold mining history.  The park will have some 50 parking spaces, a restroom, bicycle racks, and information about the cultural and historical significance of the area.

The entrance to Gold Mine Park with greenway trail crossing under construction.

E Center Event Space. The city’s contractor on the E Center Event Space & Conference Room, Barnsley Construction has received the certificate of occupancy and the project has reached the Substantial Completion Milestone. The space will consist of two areas that can be used for classes, meetings or events. These areas can be rented by HOAs, businesses or individuals.

Ridge Lake Park. The 22 acres that the City owns on Highway 20 east of the Arbor Clos neighborhood, named Ridge Lake Park  will become a new passive recreation area. Consisting of a parking area, rest room building with covered seating area, a dog park, pond improvements and trails; it will be the newest place to relax and unwind. Many of the amenities in the park were suggested by the public during open houses that we held in 2017 and 2018. The contractor, under the construction manager at risk method, Reeves+Young is working on the guaranteed maximum price for the project and a recommendation will be presented when the details are finalized.

Community Garden Pavilion.  Construction is complete by our own Public Works Department. It consists of a concrete pad with a pavilion cover for meetings, education and events.

Gary Pirkle Park Restroom Building. Design is well underway on a restroom building to serve the new fields on the east side of the park. They will incorporate 7 unisex stalls and a water bottle filling station. We will advertise for a construction contractor when bid documents are ready, later this summer.