Columbia County bicyclists will have to wait at least two more months before riding an extended bike path next to Evans-to-Locks Road.
"We had over 60 different rain delays. Sixty working days of rainfall interruptions," said Columbia County Engineering Manager John Burnham. "We've extended the contractor's time to complete by 75 days."
Percentagewise, Burnham said the bike-path construction is around 20 percent complete. He estimates the path will be ready for public use by Labor Day, barring any more inclement weather.
Construction of the bike path is the second part of a three-phase project. The first phase of the path was completed last November and stretches 2.7 miles from Savannah Rapids Pavilion to Stevens Creek Elementary School.
"Phase two picks up where phase one left off," Burnham said. "Stevens Creek Elementary School is the start point. It will end at the flashing light at Blue Ridge Drive."
Phase two, which began in January, is considerably shorter than phase one and costsabout one-third as much.
Burnham estimates phase two will cost $169,000. The first phase cost $455,000, but the Georgia Department of Transportation paid for 80 percent of the project and county only had to fund 20 percent. For phase two, the county is funding the entire project.
Burnham said that no date has been set to begin phase three, which will extend 2.1 miles from Blue Ridge Drive to the Columbia CountyGovernment Complex.
"It's basically on paper at this point," Burnham said. "It is conceptual only. What I mean by that is that no funding has been identified."
In addition to having no money, Burnham said the third phase could be hindered in other ways.
"We have to cross some railroad track, which provides an actual physical obstacle," he said. "That's why it's only on paper."
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