Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to improve the entryway to Chickamauga Park.
The grant to the Georgia Department of Transportation will transform LaFayette Road, which leads into the park.
Gretchen Corbin, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, said, “This project will be a game-changer for Fort Oglethorpe and for Chickamauga Battlefield, the nation’s oldest and largest Civil War battlefield. The street improvements provided through the ARC grant will vastly enhance both residents’ quality of life and the visitor experience.
“It’s an excellent economic development initiative that will greatly enhance both downtown development and tourism growth in the area.”
There will be 0.8 miles of improvements including sidewalks with landscaped vegetation, landscaped medians and turning lanes, interior travel lanes, bike lanes, crosswalks, street trees and lighting.
Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Lynn Long said, "This is an exciting day for Fort Oglethorpe. This $3 million grant is going to change the face of the historic district of Fort Oglethorpe and LaFayette Road – the gateway to the Chickamauga Battlefield.
“This is the most important project for Fort Oglethorpe that has happened in my lifetime. My thanks to all the many, many people who have worked on this grant."
The project is anticipated to indirectly create 32 new jobs, retain 25 full-time jobs and leverage $500,000 in private investments, mainly among businesses along the corridor.