The custom bridge for the Greenway cost $1.8 million and includes blue LED lighting under the rails for use at night.

A ribbon cutting was held Dec. 12 to officially open the “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, the first stretch of a linear park and multiuse path that is envisioned to stretch 12 miles and connect Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, unincorporated DeKalb County and Doraville.

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst told the crowd of more than 100 people who attended the ceremony that the plan is for someone to be able to get on a bike in Brookhaven, ride on the Greenway to the Atlanta BeltLine, then to the Silver Comet Trail and then to Alabama.

“This used to be called the miracle mile because people thought it would take a miracle to get this thing done,” Ernst said of the first leg that opened between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road.

The ribbon-cutting fell on the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony. There are more anniversaries to be had, Ernst said.

“This is just a point in time, just one … and I know in a few years we’ll be digging in the dirt again and connecting that path, so let’s get to it,” he said.

Numerous people and organizations are responsible for the completing the first mile, including the Salvation Army, whose regional headquarters is adjacent to the Greenway The nonprofit donated land that is used for a trailhead off North Druid Hills Road.

Special recognition was also given to the nonprofit Peachtree Creek Greenway organization that has advocated for its construction including Betsy Eggers, chair of the organization, and board members Sarah K. Kennedy and Meredith O’Connor.

“We’re just ecstatic,” Eggers said after the ceremony as she prepared to ride her bike. “To think this creek was just a nasty, dumped-on, trash location. But now it’s not just usable, it is joyful.”

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.