A decades-long dream is becoming reality in southeastern Cobb County as the Silver Comet Trail begins a long-awaited extension.
The drone video footage from the PATH Foundation embedded at the bottom of this article shows progress on a 2.4-mile eastward expansion of the trail which will see it run inside the I-285 perimeter and toward the Chattahoochee River. The long-term goal is to link the 60-plus mile Silver Comet with the Atlanta Beltline, providing an unbroken pedestrian and bicycle link between Alabama and Atlanta.
“This video is what we’ve dreamed of!,” Connect The Comet leader Wendell Burks wrote in an email to supporters of the project.
The footage shows where old railroad tracks have been cleared beginning with a passage under the East-West Connector and South Cobb Drive, across Oakdale Road and beneath the perimeter before ending at Plant Atkinson Road. Supporters have been pushing for the effort since the original Silver Comet was created in the 1990s.
However, work remains to be done.
“While the 2021 construction of this 2.4-mile extension will be very exciting, it is just one of two extension segments required to get the trail to the Chattahoochee River,” Wendell said via email. “We are asking leadership in Cobb County to allocate initial funding from the 2022 T-SPLOST for the Silver Comet extension from Plant Atkinson to the Chattahoochee River. If the trail from Plant Atkinson Road along Atlanta Road to the Chattahoochee River is allocated in initial 2022 SPLOST funding, acquisition could begin in January 2022 and construction of that segment could begin before the end of 2022.”
An extension to the Chattahoochee would bring the Silver Comet across the entirety of Cobb County and to the border with Fulton County and the City of Atlanta.
Drone video from the PATH Foundation’s YouTube channel
Haisten Willis is a freelance writer who lives in Smyrna with his wife, daughter and dog. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from California State University, Fresno, serves on the board of SPJ Georgia and even rides a bike when time allows.