The trail spur, covering just under a mile, will include major bridges over the Sibley Mill and King Mill tailrace areas and allow cyclists to veer off the towpath, cross under River Watch Parkway and emerge downtown near Waters Edge subdivision.
Massana’s low bid of $1,136,265 edged out two other bidders, but the three proposals were separated by less than $137,000, said Dayton Sherrouse, the Augusta Canal Authority’s executive director.
The bid documents will undergo further scrutiny from engineers before a contract can be forwarded to the Georgia Department of Transportation, which is funding part of the project with federal grant money.
“As soon as we get verification from the engineers that everything is correct, we may call for a special meeting to award a contract, and then get it off to DOT for final approval,” Sherrouse said.
Although a contract could be awarded soon, the estimated delivery time for customized components of the two bridges could take about five months, he said, so construction might not begin until late in the year.
The project was first planned, funded and bid in 2005 but never started because the canal authority was unable to secure easements to cross the tailrace at Sibley Mill. The access issue and other impediments have since been resolved.
The trail spur is expected to be an important connector that will better link the canal trails with downtown Augusta and the 13th Street bridge, which will help bicyclists get from the canal to North Augusta’s Greeneway Trail System more easily.