C.W. Matthews awarded $7.8 million contract to advance the Silver Comet Trail extension toward the Atlanta BeltLine

Cyclist on the Silver Comet Trail in article about Silver Comet Trail reopenCyclist on the Silver Comet Trail (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

At today’s regular meeting, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $7,799,277.90 contract with Marietta-based C. W. Matthews Contracting Company, Inc. for improvements near the Plant Atkinson Road section of the Silver Comet Trail extension that will ultimately connect the regionally important Silver Comet Trail with the Atlanta BeltLine and the Chattahoochee RiverLands project.

The project is funded by the 2016 SPLOST, with additional funds for bridge rehabilitation from the 2022 SPLOST. (For a breakdown of the funding sources, visit the agenda packet for the May 9 BOC meeting).

The scope of the work in the newly approved contract is focused on South Atlanta Road between Plant Atkinson Road and the Chattahoochee River bridge connecting Cobb County with the City of Atlanta.

Before the BOC meeting, the Courier asked Cobb County Transportation Director Drew Raessler what specific relationship the contract has with the Silver Comet Trail.

“The work on the bridge is necessary because the trail runs along the bridge as well,” Raessler said. “So there’s some rehab work associated with that. But it connects from Plant Atkinson down to the river.”

Raessler referred the Courier to a recent update on the Cobb DOT web page that describes the current state of the Silver Comet Trail extension project.

According to the web page, the Cobb DOT will be in charge of the portion of the Silver Comet Trail along South Atlanta Road from Plant Atkinson Road to the river, partnered with the PATH Foundation.

“Additional work included in this construction project will consist of the rehabilitation of Atlanta Road Bridge over CSX Railroad, a new median across the bridge to separate northbound and southbound traffic, rebuilding the traffic signals at Plant Atkinson Road and Nifda Boulevard, and the repaving of Atlanta Road,” the web page states.

The PATH Foundation will primarily focus on the 2.3-mile stretch of the Silver Comet extension between the East West Connector and Plant Atkinson Road and has raised the funds necessary to hire a contractor to complete that phase of the project once the transfer of the land from CSX is complete. CSX agreed to the transfer during negotiations with the State of Georgia in 2018, but legal details of the transfer have delayed its completion.

The portion of the project approved with the C.W. Matthews contract is expected to begin this summer.

About the Cobb County Department of Transportation

The Cobb County DOT website describes the responsibilities of the department as follows:

“The Cobb County Department of Transportation (DOT) develops, manages, and operates Cobb County’s transportation system. This system includes a vast network of roadways, sidewalks, and trails; a transit system that provides public transportation; and an airport that serves business and recreational flying needs.”

“The Director and Deputy Director oversee all functions of the Cobb DOT.

Cobb DOT consists of several divisions, including engineering, traffic operations, planning, airport, transit, and road maintenance. It also includes support services, which is a general designation for services that support Cobb DOT across all divisions.”

The director of the department is Drew Raessler.