Update on Carrollton Riverwalk

Plans call for River Walk
to be completed next year

Several grants have moved the project along

CARROLLTON, Ky. – A much needed project that has been in the works for a while, the Carrollton River Walk project, recently got a financial boost with a 50-50 matching Recreational Trails grant. Plans call for extending the River Walk along the Ohio River, adding a modern amenity to a river that has seen many centuries of ebb and flow.
This project began in 2013 and consists of several different components to be completed in three phases. If things go as organizers plan, it will be completed in 2018.
The project began by extending 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. The River Walk is a project that ties into the Two Rivers RV Park, located nearby.

Location for the new Carrollton, Ky River Walk.

“Phase I of the Carrollton River Walk is complete and consists of the trails that are in place along the Ohio River,” said Gary Mathis, Executive Director for Carroll County Community Development Corporation. The goal of the corporation is to promote community development and to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in Carroll County, he said.
As with any major project, funding was badly needed to complete this project. The city applied for three separate grants for each phase, said Carrollton Mayor Rob Adams.
“A Recreational Trails grant was received for Phase II of the Carrollton River Walk project,” said Mathis, who is the project administrator working for the city, in regard to federal and state requirements for the grants. He estimated the cost of Phase II to be $100,400.
“Phase II consists of a new walkway at the JCTC parking lot and new sidewalk along boat parking area to meet Kentucky River trail at the point,” said Mathis. “This will be an enhancement that does not prohibit usage of the Carrollton River Walk since the section is open to the general public.”
The city received a Land and Water Conservation Grant in the amount of $72,550 for the Kentucky River Trail portion of the project.
Phase II is a large portion of the overall plan and also consists of moving the historic Bow Arched Bridge from U.S. Hwy. 42 across from the main entrance to Dow Corning to a ravine between Two Rivers Campground and Point Park to get from one spot to another more easily. The bridge was not included in the preliminary master plan for Point Park.
A patent was granted for the bridge in 1866, and it was in place by 1869 so travelers could have easier access over McCool’s Creek in an area now owned by Dow Corning. Abandoned for several decades, Dow Corning officials saw it as a way to preserve a piece of community history.
The community came together on the day of removal for the oversized load. Dow Corning provided the bridge structure and organization for the project. Tandy Trucking donated the truck and trailer for the move. Luhn and Oak supplied a crane to move the historic bridge. Kemper Construction built new piers.
Restoring the bridge is “sort of a phase of its own,” said Adams.
Cost for the Bow Bridge portion of the project is estimated to be $120,000, according to Mathis. The city received a Transportation Enhancement Grant for that part of Phase II.
Work still needs to be done before the bridge can open to public. It “needs supports under it to handle the load of foot traffic or to hold anything that will ever be on it,” said Adams. He said it will get a new floor, rails and decking. “It will be a bridge within a bridge.”
Mathis said that an additional project consists of “paving and lights for the Kentucky River Trail that runs from the point of the Two Rivers Camp Ground and connects both sides of the Bow Bridge.”
Phase III of the River Walk project consist of a new water and splash play area for which funds are being requested at this time, said Mathis. “If funded, the water and splash area will be completed in 2018.”
American Engineering of Glasgow, Ky., was hired as the project engineer. Adams said he had to choose a firm from a state approved list. “I was allowed to use my first choice.”
Although the firm would not comment specifically on this project, Kenneth Damron, Senior Transportation Engineer, did say, “American Engineers Inc. is a full-service, award-winning, civil engineering firm established more than 35 years ago with three locations in Kentucky and one in Georgia.”
As the midway point between Louisville and Cincinnati, Carrollton entertains many visitors each year. Having two rivers connect in the town means a lot of outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, golf and tennis.

Once completed, this project will “provide walking trails along both the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers from the RV Park to downtown,” said Mathis. It is just one more amenity visitors and residents alike can enjoy.

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