NORTH FORSYTH -- Changes appear likely for a current section and future plans of the Big Creek Greenway.
Forsyth County commissioners voted unanimously to approve two change orders totaling about $30,000 with Pond and Company to revise plans for Phases 4 and 5 of the biking and pedestrian trail that spans close to 10 miles from near McFarland Parkway to Johnson Road.
A redesign will be the most visible of the two, with a new north-south spur to be added along a challenging section of Phase 4, which opened in August.
“We have an opportunity to look at putting in an alternate alignment for the trail to try to minimize some of the grade changes that we have,” Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt said. “What we’re proposing to do is design a new transition and then a plan for this segment out of the old plan [and] put all that together in a new plan.”
The new section will cost more than $23,000 and will span between Castleberry and Kelly Mill roads near Wade Valley Way.
The new north and south transitions will create forks in the road for the harder and easier sections before rejoining the main route.
Changes were also approved for Phase 5 – the northern-most stretch that is under construction and will add another 5-6 miles – on Dr. Bramblett Road, Spot Road and Spot Connector to avoid utilities.
“We need to go in and update the plan to show any of the water lines, or maybe sewer lines, that the city of Cumming has installed since we did the original plans,” Merritt said. “Plus, we need to change some plans and specifications for the current erosion control walls.”
Design work for this section will cost about $6,000.
Merritt said most of the trail will fall on road right of way and “very little” will need to be acquired. He projected that the work could be bid out by the end of the year.
“I would anticipate that if the [commission] would like, once we get these plans updated, we can probably bring the plans back this winter for [commissioners] to consider to go out to bid,” he said.
Commissioners also voted unanimously during the same meeting to approve an agreement with The Army Corps of Engineers to extend the county’s deadline by three years to master plan lakefront parks.
Most recently, the county has pursued Wildcat Creek Park in north Forsyth.