The Tale of the Doodle Rail Trail — from Planning to Implementation

by Blake Sanders, Design Associate at Alta Planning + Design

The Cities of Easley and Pickens, SC, purchased the Pickens “Doodle-line” Railway with the intent of exploring the creation of an eight-mile-long rail trail in this corridor. The rail trail will serve as transportation and a recreation amenity for residents and visitors, and enhance connectivity between the two cities.

Alta was selected by the Cities of Easley and Pickens’ officials to both master plan and complete a design-build effort for the Doodle Rail Trail. Being involved in every step of the process, from planning to implementation, is an exceptional journey, and one that Alta prides itself on being able to take with our clients.

The design-build team is staying closely involved to make sure this 7.5-mile greenway is completed within engineering boundaries, under budget, and on-time. The plan is to have the Doodle Rail Trail opened by May 25. Currently, King Asphalt, the General Contractor, has paved 3.2 miles, completed final grading for 5.2 miles (awaiting a little better weather before paving), and has completed infrastructure repairs (storm, sanitary, water, etc.) for 6.0 miles.

Watching something be built, developed, or transformed before your own eyes is amazing.

Full depth base reclamation.
Full depth base reclamation.
Asphalt surface course applied to the newly-compacted base.
Asphalt surface course applied to the newly compacted base.
Once the asphalt is complete, the subcontractors are following up with specific trail amenities as outlined by Alta (fencing, landscaping, road crossings, bollards, etc.).
Once the asphalt is complete, the subcontractors are following up with specific trail amenities as outlined by Alta (fencing, landscaping, road crossings, bollards, etc.)
Deconstruction of the supersurface, and removal of the i-beams from the subsurface, revealed severe pile and bent deterioration. The design-build team worked to determine bent replacement, environmental impacts, and impacts to completion schedule.
Deconstruction of the supersurface and removal of the i-beams from the subsurface revealed severe pile and bent deterioration. The design-build team worked to determine bent replacement, environmental impacts, and impacts to completion schedule.

Update — The Doodle Trail breaks ground.