Amerson Park closing Saturday for several months

pramati@macon.comJanuary 28, 2014 

Summer_Days_Swing

Libby Thomas enjoys a swing in Amerson Waterworks Park with her mother Meagan Thomas on a Sunday morning in August 2013.

GRANT BLANKENSHIP/THE TELEGRAPH — gblankenship@macon.com Buy Photo

Amerson River Park will close to the public Saturday in preparation for major improvements to the park, and it will be months before it reopens.

Earlier this month, the Macon-Bibb County Commission accepted a $6 million grant from the federal government for upgrades to the park, including a $5.4 million construction contract, which has since been awarded to Georgia Development Partners.

There’s no timetable yet on when the work will be completed -- or when the park will reopen to the public, Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said.

“The whole area will be under construction,” he said. “It’s going to be closed for several months. ... It’s going to be a significant project for that area.”

Floore said one estimate he saw for the work said it could take close to a year to complete. Officials are planning a groundbreaking ceremony for the park Feb. 5.

Improvements at the park will cover a variety of work, including about 7.5 miles of new trails, reworking of the park’s roadway, improving the park’s infrastructure, and adding signage, said Julie Moore, assistant to the Macon-Bibb County manager.

Other work planned for the park includes a canoe takeout at Bowman Creek about two miles south of the park and additional paved parking.

Floore said because of the scope of the project, the park will have to be closed entirely as opposed to having rolling closures throughout the coming year.

Once the government gives Georgia Development Partners the go-ahead, officials will have a better idea how long the work will take, Floore said.

The money for the project was earmarked about six years ago by then-Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga. The state Department of Transportation was responsible for bidding out the contract.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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