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Posted: December 6, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Turner Lake Trail to be repaved, extended

The main pedestrian trail in Turner Lake Park is being repaved and will soon become much more accessible.

Turkey Creek Trail, the 2,400-foot long spine of the trail system at Turner Lake, will be paved in asphalt and railings will be replaced on the trail’s boardwalk.

On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners approved a $191,695 bid for the project from SteelCo Buildings Inc., an Oxford-based company. The county will contribute $100,000 as a match to a five-year old $100,000 grant the county received from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The trail is important because it will be a connecting link to two other projects. On the east side, the trail will be connected to the underground pedestrian tunnel that is being built as part of the new roundabout that will be constructed at the intersection of Tuner Lake Road and Clark Street.

The Turkey Creek trail will also be extended, and, eventually, the goal is for the trail to tie into the future 3.8 mile long Yellow River trail project, said County Special Projects Coordinator Cheryl Delk.

That trail will parallel Turkey Creek and the Yellow River, cross over the Yellow River south of Brown Bridge Road via a new bridge, pass near Newton High School and Porterdale and end at Porterdale’s Historic Depot.

However, this larger trail is not expected to be completed until sometime in or after 2011. The complexity of building a bridge and a trail in wetlands area, including environmental regulations, has delayed the project, Delk said.

The city of Porterdale continues to clear brush from the banks of the Yellow River in a effort to increase recreational access. Increased river tourism is a future goal of the county.

While the Yellow River trail is in the distance, two other projects are set to begin in 2010. The long awaited creation of a pedestrian trail heading southeast from the Newton County Public Library on Floyd Street to Eastside High School and on to the Alcovy River, is planned for 2010. Federal and state monies have been secured for both of these trails.

Also, in Jan. the county is expected to start restoration on the exterior of the historic jail. The plan is to turn the jail into a museum that houses county artifacts. The museum will be called the Newton County History Center.

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