GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Sept. 5, 2023) – The City of Gainesville is steps closer to realizing a dream that, upon completion, will extend the Midland Greenway and improve connectivity in Ward 3.
At its latest regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Gainesville City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution authorizing the purchase of an abandoned east-west railroad spur (and associated right-of-way) from CSX Transportation Inc. The City plans to redevelop the 3.5-plus-acre tract, which runs easterly between Grove and Athens streets, into a multi-use recreational trail that would connect pedestrians from Engine 209 Park to Butler and DeSota parks.
“Purchasing the abandoned CSX East-West Spur is an exciting opportunity!” said Housing & Special Projects Manager Jessica Tullar, who serves as project lead. “Not only will the City be able to transform an unsightly property into a recreational amenity, it also will expand the Highlands to Islands Trail to the Athens Street neighborhood and thereby connect that neighborhood to our Midland and Engine 209 parks, plus other amenities along the Midland Greenway.”
Tullar added transforming the abandoned railroad right-of-way has the potential to spur private investment in the southern part of Midland and the Athens Street corridor, as it has done for the rest of the area.
Construction could begin as early as late 2024, wrapping up 18-24 months later in late 2026/early 2027.
About the Midland Greenway
From its entrance near Jesse Jewell Parkway, the Midland Greenway runs south between Parker Street and Industrial Boulevard. Located behind the Gainesville Public Safety Complex and adjacent to the Gainesville Skate Park, the Midland Greenway boasts gorgeous greenspace, multi-use trails, public art, an amphitheater and more. Newer additions to the Midland Greenway include an outdoor fitness court, dog park, 6,500-square-foot inclusive playground and public restrooms.