We all know exercise is important and one metro Atlanta city is hoping they can get more people out walking and biking.
Alpharetta is working on their very own BeltLine with eight miles of trails connecting the city together. The goal with the nearly $8-million "Alpha Loop" is to connect Alpharetta, to link the people to the businesses and also to connect Alpharetta to other cities like Cumming and Roswell.
Even on a dreary day, you'll find plenty of people along the Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta.
"I think we're all trying to live a healthier life. I was excited when they put a walking trail from my house to downtown Alpharetta," says Susan Rainone.
And more of those trails are in the works, as Alpharetta builds The Alpha Loop. "The idea for our loop started with trying to figure out how do we connect downtown and Avalon. What we came up with was a linear park that would connect not only downtown to Avalon, but also to Haynes Bridge and back to downtown," explains City of Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.
That concept has grown into a 3.2-mile inner loop and a 5.2-mile outer loop. It will eventually connect people not only with the City of Alpharetta but also connect Alpharetta to trails in Roswell and Forsyth County.
"I think the city is really thinking about the people and I'm excited the trails are going to be looped together, and that there will be more walking trails," Susan adds.
While the project comes after the success of Atlanta's BeltLine, Mayor Belle Isle says The Alpha Loop is different. "The BeltLine and our loop are similar in some respects, but in other respects, we already have a lot of that stuff already here. It's really just connecting people to it in a different way, a more unique and I think irresistible way," Mayor Belle Isle says.
Meanwhile, the construction continues downtown, where Alpharetta is looking to reinvent that space. "It's going to be amazing. What's going to be happening with our downtown, it's going to be done really between summer and fall of next year and you're going to see some amazing new opportunities here. Over time as we get this loop developed, the city is just going to be coming into its own. We're very excited about what's happening in Alpharetta," the Mayor adds.
The first phase of work, the connection from downtown Alpharetta to Avalon, along Thompson Street, is happening now. It will be complete in the spring or summer, and it's coming at the expense of some of the developers that are already building along that road and who were excited to be a part of the project.
The full inner loop will take some time, likely 18 months to 2 years. Then some more time for the outer loop, but the full project has funds set aside already.