Forsyth County Commissioners are looking at a new plan to repair an aging section of the Big Creek Greenway.
Commissioners approved a change for about $69,000 to a previously-approved agreement with Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc. to redesign a section of the greenway from McFarland Road to the Bethelview Trailhead.
Last October, commissioners approved moving to a concrete deck with steel framing for future replacements of the greenway after hearing a presentation from officials with Heath & Lineback.
“The other option, the steel one that the board approved, will still be designed,” said Procurement Director Donna Kukarolla. “At this time, we don't have enough funds to put that in place, plus … we might have to move some of the layout of the design because there is a sewer line that we can't get that close to with the piles.”
However, instead of the new design for future projects, the section discussed at the work session will still be made of wood but with steel beams for supports. The replacement section is expected to last at least 15 years.
County officials said the reason for the change was that the section was over a 40-year-old section of sewer that would be degraded by the new work and the boardwalk is in “immediate need” of repair.
“The plan we had was for a permanent fix that was going to cost $35 million [to replace all sections of the greenway], and the challenge is as they started looking at designing, we recognized that we have an aging utility line under sections, not all sections, but under certain sections of the existing greenway,” said County Manager Eric Johnson. “So, that led to discussion that we would have to receive ... donations of additional easement in order to move the new construction off of the utility line and not have them in conflict.”
Johnson said another wrinkle to the project is ensuring it does not shut down too much of the greenway.
“Even with this, we're trying to figure out a plan that has it open part of every week that does it section by section,” he said.
District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent had several questions about the project during the discussion and expressed frustration that this part of the plan was not approved with the previous plan in October.
“It's just a double design, that's what my problem is,” Levent said. “It's a double design, and we're changing what we're designing based on [changing ]information.”