A multimodal trail project that’s been compared, however erroneously, to a suburban version of the Atlanta BeltLine has received an important injection of funds.

Initially proposed in 2017, the Cumberland Sweep is envisioned as an innovative, three-mile loop that would link together the Cumberland area’s most popular attractions while reducing congestion.

Plans call for building walking and biking lanes alongside paths for an autonomous shuttle system, largely in the current right-of-way of busy roads.

This week, Cobb County commissioners greenlighted $1 million for designing the Sweep’s southern section as part of broader efforts to make Georgia’s third-most populous county more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists, according to the AJC. A federal grant of $840,000 will cover the bulk of costs, with the county paying the rest in local matching funds.

The first piece of the Sweep to be built (Segment C) would run alongside The Battery and Truist Park. Eventually, it would branch from there to Interstate 285 and over a pedestrian bridge to Cobb Galleria; in the other direction, the Sweep would snake south along Interstate North Parkway to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, and then over I-75 via Akers Mill Road to Cobb Galleria, completing the three-mile loop.

The color-coded loop of specific Cumberland Sweep sections, along with a possible pedestrian bridge (dotted dark blue) and future extensions. Courtesy of Cumberland CID

Cobb commissioners also budgeted about $400,000 for engineering and design work on two other trail initiatives: A four-mile multi-use path connecting an existing Silver Comet trailhead to downtown Austell, plus an extension of the Noonday Creek Trail via boardwalk ramps and pedestrian bridges over Cobb Parkway and a creek, the AJC reported.

It’s early in the planning process, but all three projects are expected to serve Cobb County’s goal of connecting each of its seven cities with a trail network.

Implementing the Sweep, according to Cumberland CID officials, would make transportation “easier, more reliable, and safer” throughout the district, which following the (World Champion) Atlanta Braves' relocation to Cobb is more of a regional destination than ever. The Sweep's official name and whoosh-whoosh branding were unveiled in September. 

A section of the three-mile "Cumberland Sweep" multimodal trail proposal near Cumberland Mall. Courtesy of Cumberland CID

According to a timeline released in September, the Sweep’s construction was projected to begin in late 2023. The AJC reports construction has been bumped to October 2024, and that the Sweep should take three years to fully build after that.

Prior to construction, preliminary engineering, pre-development, and right-of-way acquisition must be completed for all six potential segments.

Recent Smyrna news, discussion (Urbanize) 

Cobb County OKs design work for three trail projects (AJC