Spriggs Construction crews started the process of building the new Mount Berry Trail on the western flank of the Oostanaula River last week.
Berry College Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Eddie Elsberry said the college now has a first draft of plans to connect the campus to the river trail but does not have a timetable for construction.
The trail project, funded by the 2013 SPLOST package, runs from behind the U.S. post office along the river to where Big Dry Creek dumps into the Oostanaula. A second phase of the trail will ultimately cross Big Dry Creek and link up with the Armuchee Connector and tie back into the trail system on the opposite side of the river.
Spriggs' was the lowest of six bids submitted for the project at $466.369.60.
A trail head will be located near the cul-de-sac on Coligni Way behind the post office.
We definitely want the trail to come to berry and Berry to connect to the trail," Elsberry said. The college however, has not determined when its approximately half mile long approach to the trail would be built.
He said there will be one interesting wrinkle to the trail where it goes under the Georgia Loop 1 bridge, and will have gates that will permit Berry to access the trail to move cattle from pastures on the north side of the highway to the area where Elsberry called the Oak Hill bottoms.
"There will be signs out that that will tell folks the trail may be closed for maybe 30 minutes to let us push the cattle from one pasture to another," Esberry said.
Until Floyd County gets a green light from Norfolk Southern to go under its trestle over the Oostanaula from Ridge Ferry Park, the Mount Berry Trail will not be linked to the rest of the trail system. Floyd County manager Jamie McCord is hoping that green light will come soon so that the county can tap into the $400,000 in transportation funds administered by the Georgia DOT for the project that have been earmarked for close to a decade, but never allocated.