New public trail between canal and river takes shape

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 2:36 PM
Last updated 11:48 PM
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A temporary bridge over Sibley Mill’s tailrace will be used to access land along the Savannah River where a new Augusta Canal trail is under construction.

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Workers have cleared about half of the new trail.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Workers have cleared about half of the new trail.

“It will have decking to accommodate their construction equipment, and when they’re done, the permanent bridge will go in,” said Dayton Sherrouse, the Canal Authority’s executive director.

The $1.2 million project, which began with land clearing earlier this year, will have about 1,800 feet of concrete trail behind both Sibley and King mills, with bridges to breach the tailrace areas that flow into the river. The work is scheduled to be complete in late July.

So far, about half of the new trail has been cleared and workers are preparing footings for the temporary bridge over the Sibley tailrace.

Although the access route was widened to accommodate construction equipment, Sherrouse said the boundary stakes were adjusted whenever possible to leave some of the larger trees intact.

The bridges on the new trail will be very different. A prefabricated Steadfast bridge will be placed at the Sibley tailrace, while a suspension bridge will cross the wider King Mill tailrace.

Both bridges will offer new vistas of the river and back gates of the historic mills.

The trail spur 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 and funding limitations, the trail will end short of Wa­ters Edge for now and include a widened turnaround area.

Sherrouse said the canal authority hopes to eventually complete the original route and will continue to seek grants whenever they become available.

“The next time the Department of Transportation announces a Transportation Enhancement Act grant, we will, of course, put in for that,” he said.

Massana Construction, of Tyrone, Ga., was chosen to manage the project.

Comments (11) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/12/13 - 01:41 pm
4
1
Improving and developing an

Improving and developing an untapped resource. Way to handle it yall!

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 03/12/13 - 02:07 pm
4
1
This is how the city and GRU

This is how the city and GRU can benefit each other in the future. The canal expansion and similar projects will help attract the type of students Dr. Azziz wants. The new students bring growth to the university, and the university will help the city grow(Medical Commons, GGHF site, Cancer Center, Summerville Campus, etc).

The influx of people bring in the additional foot traffic, culture, businesses, residential, etc in the urban core. Then in return high paying manufacturing jobs locate to South Augusta(Starbucks), and white collar office jobs come to the CBD(Rural Sourcing)/West Augusta(ADP).

Extending the Riverwalk into East Augusta, additional greenspace/bike lanes in the county, Augusta Greenway, and the urban park/waterfalls/bridges in the CBD are the next big ideas. The urban park and Augusta Greenway could be incorporated together.

Russell Foster
37
Points
Russell Foster 03/12/13 - 03:21 pm
2
0
Questions

Where are the Urban Park/waterfalls/bridges in the CBD going? What is CBD.

bill.waters
18
Points
bill.waters 03/12/13 - 04:08 pm
3
1
Trail to Nowhere

I am in favor of trail-building. I am in favor of this project. However, why is there an "unresolved engineering obstacle" on this project? Does it have something to do with the Waters Edge Subdivision? Why is this subdivision allowed to block the progress of a trail to downtown? And, how is it that the subdivision was allowed to build between the levee and the river? Just curious...

Russell Foster
37
Points
Russell Foster 03/12/13 - 04:56 pm
1
0
It's all funding, Bill. Also

It's all funding, Bill. Also we can get on top of the levy with a separate contract once this is complete which can take us to Hawks Gulley. Crossing Hawks Gulley with a bridge and key stone wall will require a significant outlay of capital.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 03/12/13 - 05:36 pm
2
0
The CBD is the Central

The CBD is the Central Business District downtown. The urban park is just one idea, and nothing final.

nocnoc
49169
Points
nocnoc 03/12/13 - 08:20 pm
1
0
An the South Side watches as another

another $MILLION DOLLAR$ project is done DOWNTOWN.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 03/12/13 - 08:31 pm
2
0
The US Department of

The US Department of Transportation funded over $800,000 towards the canal project.

The I-520 expansion is underway($30 million alone), and the improvements to Mike Padgett/Windsor Spring are coming in the future to South Augusta.

nocnoc
49169
Points
nocnoc 03/13/13 - 05:14 am
2
0
I feel so much better now

I feel so much better now.
The GA DOT is finally fixing AUGUSTA's most deadly road after 25 years. A road that came into existence due to skimping on funds to begin with, and DOWNTOWN gets ANOTHER Tourist attraction and place to walk around.

Maybe I'll take the wife and grand-kids out for a stroll, walking in the ditches, along Hwy 56 and let them count logging trucks today.

I just if you are a Downtown Focused Politician that would seem fair.

To a South Sider, it just another day of being screwed over by Downtown Focused Politicians.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 03/13/13 - 07:03 am
1
1
urban park / waterfalls / bridges

Welcome to the forum, Russell Foster. Pay no attention to countyman. He is the quintessential man behind the curtain.

grinder48
2057
Points
grinder48 03/13/13 - 11:40 am
0
0
Map
Unpublished

would be nice to include a map or drawing of the route

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 03/13/13 - 12:14 pm
2
0
The city/Central Savannah

The city/Central Savannah River Land Trust is working on connecting Fort Gordon, Phinizy Swamp, and the Savannah River.

The new Butler Creek park underway is 36 acres and Lombard Mill Pond Trail(now open).

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