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Covington allocates $600,000 to finish Cricket Frog Trail paving
Brings city's total trail investment to $1.6 million
Cricket Frog Trail
The Cricket Frog Trail - photo by File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Visions of paving the last of the Cricket Frog Trail will soon come to fruition for the city of Covington.

At its latest meeting, the Covington City Council voted unanimously to allocate an additional $600,000 towards the paving of the Cricket Frog Trail inside city limits. Covington City Manager Scott Andrews said this additional funding would complete the paving, crossings, train trestle and landscaping on the trail and is in addition to the $1 million allocated earlier this year, which brings the city’s total investment to $1.6 million. The remaining portion will be funded with 2017 SPLOST revenue. 

“Finishing the Cricket Frog Trail has been at the top of my wish list,” Andrews said. “It is such an incredible asset for Covington; as a quality of life enhancer, a transit corridor, and an economic development driver. I can’t thank all of the individuals and entities enough that came together to ensure the success of this project. Thanks are in order for city council for their trust in staff to execute their vision."

Weather permitting, the eastern leg of the trail is scheduled to be completed before year-end. Engineering work is complete for the renovation of the train trestle located near Emory Street. City officials estimate the work will be completed prior to the summer of 2021. 

Covington Mayor Steve Horton said he is happy to see the trail nearing a finishing point.

"Completion of the Cricket Frog Trail within the city of Covington represents a great community development and quality of life achievement that has been a long time in the making,” Horton said. “I appreciate the tireless efforts of Newton Trails. The PATH Foundation, Inc. and all the other groups, individuals and organizations who have helped make it a reality." 

The trail, a former Norfolk Southern rail bed, runs through Newton County and intersects the city of Covington at Eagle Drive, moves past Legion Field towards the Downtown Square, across Turner Lake Road and eventually terminates on Spillers Drive in close proximity to Washington Street. 

Newton Trails holds a long-term lease on the entire 15-mile former rail corridor, including the portion which runs through the city of Covington. Newton Trails and the city have a formal agreement which allows the city to develop, build and maintain a multi-use trail on the old rail bed. 

"Newton Trails cannot thank Covington's city council and officials enough for their collective understanding of the value of multi-use trails and for their investment of time and money into the development of the Cricket Frog Trail," said Greg Richardson, Newton Trails' board chair. "In partnership, we are building a truly unique trail system that will enrich our community in multiple ways."