Augusta Canal trail expansion includes 2 mill tailrace bridges

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 6:17 PM
Last updated 8:16 PM
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Workers mobilized equipment Tuesday to begin a long-awaited expansion of the Au­gusta Canal trail system that will include new bridges over the tailrace areas behind Sibley and King mills.

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James Purcell (left)  and Steve Webb watch as a dump truck empties gravel on the side of River Watch Parkway as part of an expansion of the Augusta Canal trail system. A concrete trail about 1,800 feet long will be installed behind Sibley and King mills.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
James Purcell (left) and Steve Webb watch as a dump truck empties gravel on the side of River Watch Parkway as part of an expansion of the Augusta Canal trail system. A concrete trail about 1,800 feet long will be installed behind Sibley and King mills.

The $1.2 million project, which will cause intermittent lane closures along River Watch Parkway and its ramps near downtown Augusta, will create about 1,800 feet of concrete trail behind the two historic textile mills.

Massana Construction, of Tyrone, Ga., was chosen last June to manage the project, said canal authority spokeswoman Rebecca Rogers.

The trail spur, covering close to a mile, was initially designed to allow cyclists to veer off the canal towpath near the aqueduct at Rae’s Creek, cross under River Watch Parkway and emerge downtown near Waters Edge subdivision.

Because of some unresolved engineering obstacles, the trail will end short of Wa­ters Edge for now and include a widened turnaround area, Rogers said.

The two bridges to be installed will be very different, she said. A prefabricated Steadfast bridge will be hoisted over the Sibley Mill tailrace, while a suspension bridge will cross the wider King Mill tailrace.

The project was 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 new trail segment is expected to be mostly complete by the end of July.

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soapy_725
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soapy_725 02/06/13 - 09:13 am
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Can you ride a bicycle.....
Unpublished

on this 1/4 mile, 1.2 million dollar project? The interstate system cost about 8 million per mile if there is no underground infrastructure?

itsanotherday1
43370
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itsanotherday1 02/06/13 - 09:24 am
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Sweet!

That is another mile closer to downtown for walkers and cyclists.

Bulldog1
223
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Bulldog1 02/06/13 - 04:00 pm
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Excellent!

This whole area is widely underappreciated. Improvements like this are a great addition to super area.

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