While at a Tuesday public meeting, Fred L. Screws said he was happy to hear about changes to plans for a proposed greenway along the Euchee Creek corridor.
Screws reviewed the changes to the preliminary plans at the meeting at the Evans Government Complex. He learned that the changes have moved a proposed walking and biking trail farther from his backyard.
"That'd be a whole lot better," he said after reviewing a map of the greenway route with Barry Smith, the county's Community and Leisure Services director. "That'd be out of the way. It wouldn't be as bad as right there in my backyard."
The original master plan for the Euchee Creek greenway project, initiated by the county's Greenspace Advisory Board, called for a biking, walking and jogging trail to stretch several miles from Chamblin Road near Interstate 20 north past Patriots Park to Riverside Park on Hardy McManus Road.
The proposed 14.5-mile trail would feature five trailheads and lots of scenic views and overlooks. The proposed change would move the boardwalk from about 22 feet from Screws' home on Calloway Woods Extension to about 1,000 feet away.
Sean Anderson, a resident of Barnsley Drive in the Stratford subdivision, said he's glad to see that changes also have diverted the trail from being constructed on county-owned land between the creek and his and dozens of homes on the road. The diversion would send the trail across the creek and onto a privately owned island.
Tim Tyler, the chairman of the advisory board, said the altered plan came about not only because of complaints from Barnsley Drive residents, many of whom he met with about the issue, but also because of some changes that were made because of safety and maintenance concerns.
Both areas flood regularly and would need a lot of maintenance and could pose safety hazards if the boardwalks built there flood, Tyler said.
"We just want to come up with a reasonable compromise that everyone can agree with," he said.
Because the trail route is only proposed, all the property necessary has not been acquired, said Emiline Morris, a landscape architect with The Jaeger Co., the company hired to design the trail. The trail can be constructed in pieces and eventually connected together, she said at the meeting.
Gwen Wood, an advisory board member, said the greenway trail will be an important amenity for current and future residents and that it would take advantage of the county's natural assets.
"Columbia County has some of the most gorgeous natural vistas," Wood said. "But no one in the county can get to them."
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