A pedestrian and bike trail project has begun construction in College Park that backers say will be a functional and even sculptural means of boosting connectivity and safety in the shadow of the world’s busiest airport.

College Park’s Gateway Pedestrian Bridge and Trail Project recently obtained funding and broke ground as a 1.08-mile connection between the city’s historic downtown and the Georgia International Convention Center, as well as the airport’s ATL Skytrain Automated People Mover.

The 10-foot-wide pathway has been designed to optimize bicyclist and pedestrian safety—a Camp Creek Parkway bypass for people not in cars, basically—while providing access to schools, markets, and medical clinics in the area. It will also serve to connect College Park’s downtown MARTA station to the GICC and future Six West development, a massive proposal spanning more than 300 acres that’s been likened to Atlantic Station, according to project officials.

As a busy four-lane highway, Camp Creek Parkway sees more than 34,000 vehicles each day.

Where the Gateway project will terminate in downtown College Park after crossing Camp Creek Parkway. The airport is depicted at bottom right. Google Maps

The trail will begin downtown at the intersection of John Wesley Avenue and West Main Street, and the highpoint will be a 200-foot, prefabricated arch suspension bridge over the parkway that’s designed to make a statement for drivers headed into the south ITP city.

The bridge’s “astounding appearance… will grab the attention of everyone on Camp Creek Parkway,” Jackson Myers, College Park’s director of infrastructure and development, put it in a project announcement this week.  

Courtesy of STV Incorporated

The Atlanta Regional Commission provided College Park more than $15.4 million in funding for the Gateway project’s design and construction, which will cover 80 percent of costs. The rest will be paid for via TSPLOST and the city’s general fund, officials said.

Prime Engineering led designs, alongside the Pentagon 540, STV Incorporated, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, and ECS Southeast firms. C.W. Matthews Contracting is building the Gateway project.

It’s expected to finish construction and open to the public in 15 months, or sometime in fall 2023.

Courtesy of STV Incorporated

College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom called the Gateway project “a major step forward” in the quest to “improve transportation access for residents and visitors alike who choose to explore our great city.”

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