Columbia County moves forward with Euchee Creek Greenway Trail
Columbia County commissioners approved a $5,000 change order for preliminary and final construction plans for a parking lot and trailhead for the Euchee Creek Greenway Trail, the 23-mile, $20-million project that will eventually link Grovetown with Riverside Park.
The prototype section of the trail was built behind Canterbury Farms subdivision on Chamblin Road about two years ago and, earlier this year, Columbia County commissioners agreed to use a $250,000 Georgia Department of Transportation grant to link it to the Grovetown trails, which are about 10 years old.
Over the last six or seven years, the county’s Greenspace Advisory Board has been acquiring land along the Euchee Creek corridor, and this change order will allow increased access to the growing trail.
The change order would cover the trailhead and parking lot design as well as signage along Wrightsboro Road.
The county’s greenspace program began in 2002, when the governor gave the county $1.1 million to start it. Statewide, the money was to be used for fast-growing communities to preserve land and put it in permanent protection.
Ultimately, 20 percent of the county’s total acreage should be set aside in greenspace, which for Columbia County would be about 30,000 acres. Currently, the county has close to 12,000 acres in greenspace, much of it in conjunction with the Euchee Creek Greenway Trail.
Other greenspace land in the county includes Heggies Rock and 52 acres behind the Rivershire subdivision.
“The more we looked at the project, the more we realized we wanted some parking somewhere along the trail proper,” says Barry Smith, Columbia County’s director of community and leisure services. “With this, we can carve out an area to park 15 to 20 cars and basically call it a trailhead or an access point to alleviate the problem of where to park on that end.”
Though users of the trail would also be able to park at the trail’s access point in Grovetown as well as inside Canterbury Farms, this trailhead gives the county a high visibility entry point along busy Wrightsboro Road.
The spot chosen is at the old Wrightsboro Road bridge, which not only has land for parking, but provides all-important access to the Grovetown trail under the bridge.
“That’s the wonderful thing about it,” Smith says. “The DOT made access under the bridge. That’s one of the main reasons we’re doing the project, because we can go under the bridge.”
Smith says that not only did surveys from the county’s Recreation Master Plan find locals were interested in such a trail system, but alternative modes of transportation were part of what contributed to the high quality of life in the progressive communities Columbia County wants to emulate.
Though additional phases will require bridges across Euchee Creek, something that will push completion of the entire trail back at least 10 years, the trailhead represents another major step in the trail’s evolution.You Might Also Like: