PlanFirst Success Story: Sidewalk project forges city-wide connections

A sidewalk project in the making connects major parts of the City of Cornelia physically and socially. 

The Level Grove Road Sidewalk Project was completed in 2021, resurfacing Level Grove Road and expanding its sidewalk from Wayside Street to Highway 441.  

This expansion connects Highway 441 to City Park, the opposite side of the city including the entire downtown district, with a 10-feet wide sidewalk. 

Level Grove Road is explicitly a corridor stretching from Highways 365 and 441 to the Downtown District.  

It is also where a residential community with a high Hispanic population, affordable housing units and government-sponsored housing. The road is often heavy with pedestrian traffic given it connects to two nearby grocery stores. 

Those residents can expect even more foot traffic since the sidewalk is also connected to the local elementary school, now giving many students a simple and safe, one mile walk to school. 

Pedestrians have a safe crosswalk to get from the residential side of the street to the grocery stores, bank and downtown district as well. 

By completing the project, the City of Cornelia was able to address several community needs outlined in the Comprehensive Plan as well as complete several items outlined in the Community Work Program including, improving aesthetics at community access points, improving crosswalks to encourage walkability downtown, expanding connectivity to existing sidewalks and trail systems, resurfacing local roads. 

All this work and task completion has more than just physical benefits.  

The City of Cornelia may find itself with a social reawakening, given the potential for pedestrian conversations on the new sidewalks, and a green awakening, given the city has more enticement to walk places rather than drive.