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Turkey Creek Trail upgrade to start

COVINGTON -- A project that has been in the pipeline for more than five years will finally get under way in the next few weeks.

Improvements to Turkey Creek Trail, running through Turner Lake Park, as well as construction of a new addition to the trail, are expected to begin by the end of the month, according to Special Projects Coordinator Cheryl Delk.

County commissioners recently approved a bid in the amount of $191,695 from SteelCo Buildings Inc. of Oxford to complete the project, which covers about 2,400 square feet of trails. About three-fourths of the project entails repairs and resurfacing of existing trails, Delk said.

Turkey Creek Trail will be extended to pick up where a proposed underground pedestrian tunnel at the intersection of Turner Lake Road and Clark Street will leave off and connect with the existing trail system running through the park. The tunnel is part of the city of Covington's round-a-bout project.

Five years ago, the county received a $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund requiring a $100,000 county match.

The project was delayed due to numerous studies that had to be completed to design the county's entire trail system, as well as waiting on the Georgia Department of Transportation to finalize the exact location of the tunnel, Delk said.

Commissioners opted to go with asphalt rather than concrete because the concrete option was more costly and did not include replacing railings over the trail's boardwalk, which were knocked down by vandals several years ago.

The railings are a needed safety feature, said Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey.

According to Administrative Officer John Middleton, the concrete option would have cost $197,240, leaving no money for the railings.

Delk said she expects the project to get under way by the end of the month and to be completed by March.