Over the next few years, the city of Alpharetta will be working on a long-term project to be known as the Alpha Loop. Multi-use paths, 12 to 16 feet wide, will connect Avalon to Downtown Alpharetta along two interconnected routes – a three-mile inner loop and a five-mile outer loop which will also include connections to the Northwinds area at S.R. 400 and Haynes Bridge Road. Alpharetta, which calls itself the Technology City of the South, intends to use the loops to better connect neighborhoods, spur economic development, improve mobility and travel, and elevate the residents’ quality of life. To that end, part of the inner loop will remain natural with a greenway along a stream, trails with bicycle service areas, and seating areas.
Eventually, the city would like to add connections to the east side of GA 400, possibly along Webb Bridge Road, Encore Parkway, and Kimball Bridge Road, where corridor improvements are currently in the planning stages. With those improvements, the city would like the Alpha Loop to one day connect to the Big Creek Greenway.
Private projects in these future areas are cooperating with the city to provide the sections of ongoing development. The first sections to be complete will likely along the segment connecting Avalon and Downtown. Public art features and other aesthetic elements will be added later.
THE MAJOR AREAS OF THE ALPHA LOOP WILL BE DEFINED AS:
AREA 1 – Old Milton Road Entry and Promenade Walk. From the street entry off Old Milton Parkway, a walkway will lead into the wooded areas of the trail. Past the bordering development, a plaza will provide a gathering area for reading, exercise, picnicking, admiring artwork, or just relaxing.
AREA 2 – Elevated Walkways with Enhanced and Preserved Native Micro-Ecologies. This overlook will afford a view of the stream below, native plants, and additional boulders and river rock along the streambed. A foot trail will provide access to a proposed upland meadow.
AREA 3 – Pocket Park Spaces and Ecological Zones. Apart from the main trail, pocket spaces will provide for gathering and sitting. Art will be added along with a second overlook and foot trail below.
AREA 4 – The Underground Passage. A third overlook and a tunnel will border the upland meadow and a stream bed in a ravine. An entrance will along Westside Parkway.
AREA 5 – The Promenade Plazas and Pockets. Three small plazas will be worked into the existing topography adjacent to corporate businesses and between existing parking lots. The pocket park is located south of Teasley Place, a convenient entry for residents of the area.
AREA 6 – Grand Plaza Spaces. At the intersection of Kimball Bridge Road and Northwinds Parkway, an urban plaza will serve as the southern entry to the Alpha Loop. Art, seating, bicycle facilities, and native landscape beds are planned for this area.