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Footbridge could link Covington, Oxford
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When Interstate 20 was built in the 1960s, walkers and bikers were no longer able to freely travel between Covington and Oxford.

Covington officials want to reconnect the cities and are pursuing grants and state money to pay for a pedestrian bridge that would cross I-20 west of the Ga. Highway 81 bridge.

The city would probably not be able to apply for funding until late 2011 and the bridge would likely cost $700,000, grant writer Randy Conner said. Ideally, the city will be able to get grants to cover its 20 percent of the $700,000, while the state would cover the rest.

The bridge would be built off site and then placed whole. Construction would be limited and the bridge would be placed in a manner of hours, Conner said. There are several bridges of this type in Gwinnett County, he said.

Maurice Carter, chairman of the Newton County Trails-Path Foundation, spoke in favor of the proposal. The railings of the existing bridge are low, he said, and a pedestrian could fall over the railing.

Carter added the bridge would be a draw for Oxford College students, many of whom don't have cars, and would be able to access Covington's commercial corridor easily.
Also Monday, the council approved its revised parking and outdoor burning ordinances.

The parking ordinance limits vehicles that can be parked in residential areas to those that weigh less than 14,000 pounds. Vehicles of any size can be parking inside an enclosed structure. Construction vehicles will not be allowed. City Manager Steve Horton said the city will take time to inform the public before enforcing the ordinance. It also will be enforced on a complaint basis, as with most code enforcement issues.

The outdoor burning ordinance allows yard waste to be burned, but prohibits burning of plastics or other petroleum-based products or garbage. For details, read the ordinance at To obtain a burn permit, call the Covington Fire Department at (770) 385-2100.

The council also reported that they had received only negative feedback to the county's proposed animal licensing fee. Council members said that residents did not want to pay an additional fee and did not want additional government interference.