County to hold session on trail

COVINGTON - Newton County is sponsoring a public information open house for the community to learn more about the Turkey Creek/Yellow River Trail.

The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Turner Lake Park banquet room.

The design consultant and environmental consultant for the project, as well as Newton County Special Projects Coordinator Cheryl Delk, will be on hand to answer questions. Maps, photos and other information will be posted, but there will be no formal presentation.

Questionnaires will be available for attendees who would like to leave comments. For those who don't want to fill out a form, a court reporter will be on hand to record comments.

"This is an opportunity for us to show the detailed layout of the trail. ... We've been working on putting this together for five years," Delk said, noting that many environmental, hydrology and other studies have been conducted. "We're excited about showing our plan to people and answering any questions and taking comments."

The Turkey Creek/Yellow River Trail is part of the multi-use trail system planned by the county. The trails will eventually connect the Yellow River outside Porterdale to the Alcovy River in eastern Newton County.

The Turkey Creek/Yellow River Trail will be a 10-foot-wide paved trail approximately 4.5 miles long, Delk said. It will extend from the walking trail at Turner Lake Park in Covington, along a creek to the Yellow River, and then follow the Yellow River sewer easement to Newton High and Porterdale Elementary schools. It will include a pedestrian bridge over the Yellow River.

The cost of this section of trail is an estimated $3 million. So far, the county has been awarded $2 million in grant money for the project, which is scheduled to be put out to bid in 2010. Delk said she has also requested stimulus funds for the project.

Editor Alice Queen contributed to this story.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.