After an abbreviated opening, the full greenways are back open again.
After opening during the Fourth of July weekend, a section of the connector linking the city’s Emily B. Taylor and Ararat River greenways had to be closed on July 18 to correct a drainage problem.
The affected portion ran south from Worth Street to U.S. 601 beside U.S. 52, including a new bridge visible from the latter highway. Worth Street was the longtime ending point of the Emily B. Taylor Greenway, and is the western starting spot for the 2.2-mile connector which links that greenway to the Ararat River Greenway on the east side of town.
Drainage problems, complicated by recent heavy rains, were causing mud and debris to appear on the paved trail at that location, prompting the closure so these could be corrected.
City Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander reported Tuesday that the work, some of which occurred under a railroad trestle, had been finished.
“The full length of the greenway is open this week — that is my understanding,” Alexander added of a trail that stretches nearly seven continuous miles.
However, further temporary interruptions in the linkage are anticipated. “There will still be some closures coming up,” Alexander disclosed regarding tasks remaining. “There are still a few more items in the near future.”
This was known early on as municipal officials prepared to open the connector, which bikers, runners and walkers can use to reach Veterans Memorial Park from Riverside Park on the other side of town. It follows the Ararat River to Tharrington Primary School and eventually loops to the north along Lovills Creek to West Lebanon Street, and vice versa.
As with any construction project, officials advised that a punch list of items had yet to be accomplished until the greenway connector project was fully complete.
The decision was made to open the connector in early July to allow the public to use it as much as possible as the lingering tasks wound down.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.