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Scenic Walk

Plans for Carrollton , Ky.,
river walk moves ahead

City hires firm to prepare bid
for next phase of the project

CARROLLTON, Ky. (September 2013) – Known as the place where two rivers meet, Carrollton has long been proud of its river heritage. It is now one step closer to sharing that legacy with visitors who want to stroll the downtown area.

PointPark

Plans for the river walk project are close to being finalized. The Carrollton City Council held a special meeting Aug. 16 during which it voted to allow Heritage Engineering to develop construction plans a bid specifications from the boat ramp parking lot to the Jefferson Community and Technical College parking lot along the riverfront, and east of the parking lot to Fifth Street. Once the bid specifications are complete, the city can then accept bids and award the contract. Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurry said approval of construction plans will probably be given at the first City Council meeting in September.
McMurry said Heritage Engineering was chosen because the company has done work locally for Carrollton Utilities and one member of the firm, David Eberenz, lives in Carrollton. “Carrollton Utilities was very satisfied with their work,” said McMurry. Heritage Engineering has also completed projects for the nearby cities of Ghent and Campbellsburg.
Eberenz, senior engineer for Heritage Engineering, said the river walk project will contain a four-inch thick stamped concrete walking path that is eight feet wide. The company has designed a stretch of the river walk from Fifth Street to the Point Park boat ramp with a cost estimate of $200,000, said Murray.
In addition to the stamped concrete path, a concrete obelisk to be used as a trailhead marker, landscaping and re-paving and striping of the boat ramp parking lot are included in the base bid.
Kemper Construction is currently pushing back the riverbank, a task that had to be completed before construction could begin on the river walk project, said McMurray.
The finished product “will be a unique look for Carrollton,” said Eberenz. “We have tried to design it to conform to the local community.”
The company has tried to integrate the idea of the two rivers, the Ohio River and the Kentucky River, coming together and pointing out the city’s “heritage through signage,” Eberenz said.
Plans also allow for the actual flow of the river to be incorporated into the river walk. It will meander along the rivers edge, following the curves of the river. Plans depicted several options for pathways, with the longest walk being 2,100 feet in length.
Benches will be placed along the river walk, markers that relate the area’s history and lighting fixtures. According to McMurray, he hopes the project will be finished within three months of being bid out, depending upon the weather.
“This is a project that has been planned for the last 20 years,” said McMurray. “It’s one of the primary things I told people I’d do if elected.”
The river walk is a project that ties into the 2 Rivers RV Park, located nearby. This has been an ongoing project for the city for some time.
The river walk is included in the Park to Park Trails project, a county and city-wide initiative. It will ultimately connect the city’s Point Park to the state-owned Gen. Butler State Resort Park. It will then connect to the county’s Robert Westrick Memorial Park through land and water trails. The river walk was initially designed with the idea of connecting three miles of land trails with four miles of water routes.
The city’s budget for the river walk project is $250,000. In early 2012, the city received a $100,000 dollar-for-dollar matching Recreational Trails grant and $100,000 from the 2013-2014 city budget. Carroll County Fiscal Court will pitch in $50,000, but for now, this amount is on hold.
The city of Carrollton has also been working on moving an historic bridge, known as the Dow Corning Bridge, on the east side of town to a new location on the west side to become part of the river walk. McMurray said a patent was granted for the bridge in 1866 and it was in place by 1869 over McCool’s Creek in an area now owned by Dow Corning. New piers were been built and set by Kemper Construction. Then on Aug. 19, amid a parade of city and police officials, the bridge was moved to a location between the 2 Rivers Campground and Point Park as part of this project. Dow Corning donated the bridge to the city as a way to preserve it. Dow Corning, Tandy Trucking and Luhn & Oak provided the means to move the new bridge to its new home as a pedestrian crossing on the river walk. A community celebration is being planned for the bridge’s official re-opening.

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