COVINGTON, Ga. — Officials took another step to ensure a safe experience for users of the city’s trail system.
During its latest meeting, the Covington City Council unanimously approved the purchase of 10 rapid flashing beacons to install at various Cricket Frog Trail crossings that intersect with the city’s highways.
The beacons will serve as a way to warn motorists of potential pedestrians as they approach trail crossings, Special Projects Coordinator Randy Conner said. He said the beacons would be solar powered and automatically flash as motorists began to approach.
“Engineering plans for the Cricket Frog Trail and the anticipated requirements of future trail crossings of city streets require and will require flashing beacons for traffic control and pedestrian safety,” Conner told the council.
The purchase of 10 beacons from Reedwick LLC in the amount of $39,775 is the first order of many, Conner said. As the trail system continues to grow and be constructed, more will need to be added, though another order for beacons would not be placed any time soon, he said.
Beacons purchased Monday, June 7, will be placed at trail crossings on Clark Street, Pace Street, Floyd Street and Conyers Street. Conner said there were also plans to place beacons at the crossing on Emory Street, but because it is a state highway (Georgia Hwy. 81), it must be approved by GDOT.
Funding for the beacons was budgeted and will be paid for with SPLOST monies, Conner confirmed.
The Cricket Frog Trail 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.
The city has invested more than $1.6 million into the trail’s construction.
In other business, the council approved the reception of a $200,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to help fund construction of the Central Park Red Trail.
As part of the grant, the city was required to provide a $68,000 match.
Conner said it was a couple years in the making, but was glad to see it finally be awarded to the city.
The trail’s construction would be relatively simple, Conner said, and expected work to begin within the coming month, nearing completion by fall.
Plans for Central Park’s Red Trail is part of a master plan to build a complex trail system that would connect more than 11 neighborhoods, Conner said.
“Essentially, you’ll be able to walk to anywhere within the city,” he said.
The Red Trail will encircle a major portion of the park, reaching the Harristown community.
Conner said the trail construction was split into two phases for funding purposes. Phase 1, which includes a position of the trail that would run parallel to a creek near and the “championship caliber” disc golf course, was to be primarily funded in house and “required a little more work.” For Phase 2, Conner said, there were supposed to be fewer hurdles and be funded through grants.
Central Park is a 210-acre area that could soon be flooded with numerous amenities including a mountain bike trail, skate park, playgrounds, multi-purpose fields and gardens; however, what exactly the park will feature is up to the community.
For the last several weeks, the public has been able to voice its opinion on how the park should be utilized through a survey at http://bit.ly/CentralParkSurvey before the master plan is finalized. Community members have until June 11 to take the survey.