Plans for an expansion of a Grovetown nature park are headed back to the drawing board.
After bids to expand the Trails at Euchee Creek came in at more than three times the amount budgeted for the project, City Manager Chirley Beasley said the design will likely have to be scaled back.
The original plan for the third phase of the walking trails and nature park were to add nearly three-quarters of a mile of paved and boardwalk walking trails on Reynolds Farm Road.
“It is going to go from Rey-nolds farm Road up behind Grove Landing and tie into Grove Landing,” Public Works Director Michael Woods said.
The project also included building a picnic pavilion and restrooms.
Beasley said the budget for the expansion is $362,000 – $300,000 from a state Department of Transportation grant and $62,000 in matching one-cent sales tax funds from the city. The two bids, opened Friday, were for $1,098.887 and $1,365,649.
The park, which opened in the spring of 2004 on 44.7 acres of land bordering Euchee Creek at Harlem-Grovetown Road, includes more than two miles of trails, a rock den, parking area, a 100-foot-deep stocked pond, a 300-foot bridge, rock outcroppings, picnic areas and an overlook. Fishing is allowed, but no swimming.
During a second phase in 2006, the trails were expanded to Wrightsboro Road and restrooms and a parking lot were added.
Since bids for the third phase came in so far over budget, Beasley said city engineers are trying to downsize the project to fit into the budget.
The project is an annex and will not connect to the existing park. Plans haven’t yet been designed for the trails to cross Harlem-Grovetown Road.
“Our goal is to one day down the road, connect it to the other side over there,” Woods said.