Three new shade-sail rest areas have been completed along the Oostanaula River levee trail, thanks to funding from a $69,105 2011 Georgia Recreational Trails Program grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Two of the new shade-sail rest areas are located between the Second Avenue and Fifth Avenue bridges, and a third is located midway between the Fifth Avenue bridge and Turner McCall Boulevard bridge. All three are equipped with benches and concrete pads.
Four more stations are being added to the network. One is behind Etowah Terrace along the Kingfisher trail beside the Etowah River. One is being built on the Oostanaula levee at the Avenue A pump station while the other two are along the trail behind State Mutual Stadium. Those two will include special signage about songbirds and waterfowl.
Crews from the Rome Street Department have done the work to install the latest round of rest stations. Rome Floyd Planning Director Sue Hiller said representatives from disAbility Link NW, an agency dedicated to serving people with a variety of disabilities, also assisted with the design appropriateness of the rest stations.
“Rome and Floyd County are committed to providing a seamless, barrier-free trail system that can be enjoyed by all users regardless of age or physical ability,” Hiller said. “Provision of these accommodations for the elderly and users with disabilities on its existing trail system helps to accomplish that goal.”
Floyd County actually started the rest station program with a $30,114 grant that was coupled with $15,000 from the Rome-Floyd Festivals Council in 2008. Those funds helped convert five parking areas along the route into accessible trailhead parking for users with disabilities. The trail access points include a bench with armrests, a level rest area for wheelchair-bound users, and signage.
Two additional rest areas in the greenway between Ridge Ferry Park and Statue Mutual Stadium were also constructed during this phase.