MILLEDGEVILLE — A bridge installed Thursday over Tanyard Creek at the Oconee River Greenway allows contractors access to complete Phase 2 expansion.
Heavy rains in the spring and summer delayed contractors.
Weather permitting the project should be complete within two months.
The 33-ton capacity 70-by-10 bridge was pre-ordered. Big R Bridge Company located in Greeley, Colo. delivered the structure to the site for the contractor to assemble and erect.
Purcell Construction owner Chet Purcell said assembly of the $75,000 bridge took one day.
Oconee River Greenway Authority Executive Director Dr. Heather Langston said Phillips Brothers Contracting, Inc. continues successful and speedy work on the property’s north end. Langston praised Phillips Brothers use of local subcontractors for Phase 2.
One mile of 10-foot concrete trails north of the bridge, a boardwalk over Phase 1 wetlands, overlooks and a more permanent concert stage make up the master plan.
Creation of a 1.1-acre off-lease dog park highlights Phase 2 also. The park will be handicap accessible featuring water fountains, dog stations and picnic tables.
A large and welcome portion of the Greenway work is the Greene Street extension project. The extended driveway is finished and will become the new, safer entrance.
The concrete drive comes with extra parking also.
Langston said the current entrance will close to all but non-vehicular traffic. Directional signs off Hancock and Elbert streets will help visitors acclimate to entering down Greene.
Total construction costs hover around $1.3 million. The Greenway received a grant and $150,000 in 1-cent sales tax funds together with Bicycling Club of Milledgeville and Greenway foundation contributions to make the projects happen.
The Oconee River Greenway Authority (ORGA) aspires to connect green spaces from north to south creating a natural corridor that improves river access, increases recreational and educational activity and boosts economic potential. Recent Greenway Phase 2 construction and acquisition of the 250-acre Selma Irwin Nature Trail link these goals.
According to the Third Annual Knight/Gallup Soul of the Community study, places like the greenway contribute to key factors of community attachment such as social offerings, openness and aesthetics. These factor into long-term economic growth based on the study of 26 cities nationwide.
Also, a statistical analysis of the Oconee River Greenway Project’s estimated monetary impact and potential benefits completed by Georgia College show what the property could truly bring to Milledgeville.
Dr. Faye W. Gilbert’s executive summary cited benefits including: increased money invested and spent; jobs created; businesses operating downtown and at the Greenway; and the enhancement of the aesthetic quality of life for residents.
Visit www.oconeerivergreenway.org for event and membership information updates.
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