One of Forsyth County’s most popular attractions is expanding, but taking a little bit later than anticipated.
Phase four of the Big Creek Greenway was slated for an early 2015 opening, but will likely be pushed back to summer due to recent bad weather and issues with the construction of two new bridges going over Big Creek and connectivity to those bridges.
“Phase four of the greenway is not completed,” said Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt. “The contractor has two bridges that need to be set, and then we need to connect the trail to theses bridges. Then there’s one other area the contractor is working on.”
The Big Creek Greenway starts near McFarland Parkway and currently spans 6.8 miles to Bethelview Road. Once phase four of the project is completed, the Greenway will reach Kelly Mill Road near Johnson Road and will extend the trail to about 9.6 miles.
Construction for phase four began in late 2013, and is being funded by the Parks, Recreation and Green Space bond of 2011. Merritt said that he expects the next phase to be finished by summer.
“We expect that the contractor will be working another two maybe three months before we get this thing finished and we get it open to the public,” Merritt said.
Though phase four isn’t done yet, the county is already looking into phase five of the Greenway. The next phase will bring the Greenway to the Sawnee Mountain Visitor Center in north Forsyth and extend the trail to a total of 15.7 miles.
Merritt said that the county is currently working with neighbors to find where the best place will be for the next phase of the trail to run.
“The summary of that is that we continue to work with nearby land owners regarding the precise route of the phase five, that best incorporates the topography of the land and minimizes the use of switchbacks, and reduces the steep grades as much as possible,” he said.