MILTON, Ga. — Work will soon begin on constructing a new trails system in Providence Park that will add around 1.5 miles of walkways through the 40-acre park.
The city has finalized the plan for three new ADA accessible trails which will be built with a mixture of porous surfaces. The existing red trail which runs on the western portion of the park adjacent to nearby homes will be abandoned.
The paths will be constructed with a $200,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and another $160,000 from the city for the total buildout.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge said work on the trails must begin soon under the grant contract. The city will need to have hired a contractor, begin work and have a payment to the contractor cleared by August. Work is required to be completed by 2020.
The city will use a mixture of asphalt and porous rubber to construct the new trails. The city also considered crushed shale, but the downward slope of the park would likely cause washouts and result in high maintenance costs.
The city chose to intersperse the different materials because of the high cost of porous rubber. City Architect Bob Buscemi said porous rubber costs around twice the amount of asphalt but requires no maintenance.
Concrete was not considered due to opposition from the public. Cregge said asphalt is preferred anyway because it flexes and is easy to repair.
The three new paths will include a west, central and east trail with a mixture of rubber and asphalt. The asphalt west trail will be 0.3-miles long and 5-feet wide. The 8-foot wide center trail will be 0.29-miles long with 80-feet of boardwalk near the lake. The east trail will be just under a mile long and connect to the parking lot.
The blue trail currently at the park will be maintained, but the red trail will be abandoned due to its close proximity to nearby homes. Cregge said the city may block off the trail and let it go “back to nature.”
While all dead trees will be cut down for safety, Cregge was pleased that the new trails plan requires just 24 trees will be removed and all have a trunk diameter under six inches.
Benches built by Boy Scouts located along the red trail will be moved to other trails in the park.
The trails grant is one of many that will go toward funding improvements at the park. Another DNR grant will match funds with the city for a new bathroom building at Providence Park.
Buscemi has designed a structure that features self-composting toilets, waterless urinals and solar-powered lighting. The city has also applied for a grant to construct a dock on Providence Lake.