Another step has been taken in the development of the Mobile Greenway Initiative (MGI). A series of public meetings was held to discuss a section of the project, which involves a biking/running/boating trail that will eventually stretch from Langan Park to the mouth of Dog River.
Recent meetings focused on the 1.7-mile stretch of Three Mile Creek near Tricentennial Park. Dorsey & Dorsey Engineering, hired by city officials to complete the design for this section of the Greenway, met with residents and concerned citizens on two occasions at the Toulmanville Public Library. The engineers’ update was then shared with the MGI steering committee at the Mobile Baykeeper offices.
“The biggest discussion involved the construction materials for the running and biking trail,” said Kelly Warren of the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD), which received a $218,650 grant from the Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust to build the path near Tricentennial Park. The choices were a pervious material, which would allow ground water to filter through, or an impervious substance such as concrete.
Jeff DeQuattro, chairperson of the Crepe Myrtle Trail section of the MGI and a leader of the Delta Bike Project, said cyclists would not use the trail if a pervious base were used. He said such surfaces tear up bicycle tires. After a consensus was reached for an impervious surface, Warren said a detailed plan would be made to address storm water run-off.
Another topic was what to do when the path comes up to a bridge. The goal is for users to not cross any streets, so a walkway must be built under the numerous bridges that span Three Mile Creek.
“The designers want to use the Cor-Ten steel alloy for this section,” Warren said. Not only is the material resistant to corrosion, but when left uncoated it develops an outer patina, a layer of corrosion that provides additional protection.
Dorsey & Dorsey will take the feedback received at the meetings and tweak its plan, then give the city an estimated price for the work. Mobile officials got an additional $386,525 federal grant to spend on the MGI.
Once plans are finalized, city officials will bid out the project. Warren said MCHD hopes work will start in January.
Warren also serves with Women Making A Difference, a public health advisory group. Dr. Bernard Eichold II, the MCHD health officer, encouraged creation of the panel in 2012 to address issues affecting the health and well-being of local citizens. The renovations at Tricentennial Park are a major project of the group.
The original plans call for a launch to handle canoes and kayaks. Warren said two more launches are now planned along the MGI, so work is on hold so all the launches will function the same.
Warren said she hopes the trail next to Tricentennial Park is completed by May 7, 2016, when the second annual Creek Fest is scheduled. MCHD sponsored the inaugural event, which showcased all the benefits of restoring Three Mile Creek and the efforts of other local environmental projects.
“It was a much bigger success than we anticipated,” Warren said. She encourages groups wanting to participate next year to call MCHD at 251-690-8158.
Use of public hunting land ends
Area hunters have lost access to 17,725 acres of public hunting land in Mobile and Washington counties. For the first time in 60 years, the Frank W. and Rob M. Boykin Wildlife Management Area is no longer part of the state system.
The Tensaw Land & Timber Company let the agreement with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources expire. Despite the decision, state officials thanked the Boykins and Tensaw for being conservation pioneers in the state.
Local hunters still have access to several Forever Wild tracts. For a complete list, visit www.OutdoorAlabama.com/where-hunt.
GoDaddy Bowl plans concert event
A family friendly concert event will kick off GoDaddy Bowl week on Saturday, Dec. 19. The event, called “A Christmas Experience Presented by Coca-Cola and Manning’s Food For Less,” will feature six-time Grammy Award winner tobyMac.
The concert will be at the Mobile Civic Center at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $15, $25 and $35. Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 2, through Ticketmaster.com.
Proceeds will benefit area charities, including but not limited to the Mitchell Cancer Institute, Team Focus, Wilmer Hall and the Bay Area Food Bank. For information, visit www.GoDaddyBowl.com or call 251-635-0011.
• The University of South Alabama (USA) will show off the newly renovated Jaguar Field on Friday as it opens the fall softball season. USA will play Gulf Coast State College at 3 p.m. and West Florida at 7 p.m. The visitors will face off at 5 p.m.
The Lady Jags welcome nine new players from a team that finished 40-13 and advanced to its fourth straight NCAA regional final last spring. Jaguar Field has a new press box, grandstand seating and hitting facility, plus a resurfaced playing area.
Head coach Becky Clark’s team will have seven home dates. For a list of all games, visit www.USAjaguars.com or call 251-461-1USA (1872).
• The University of Mobile’s soccer teams have gained some early recognition. In the first regular season NAIA Top 25 poll, the Lady Rams are No. 2 in the nation while the Mobile men are ranked No. 7. The teams host Martin Methodist on Thursday and Bethel on Saturday.
• The Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) has honored several UM athletes. In women’s volleyball, Jessica Bagwell was named Defender of the Week after recording 48 digs in three games. In men’s soccer, Elijah Gibson was the league Defensive Player of the Week (he leads SSAC with 33 saves and 0.91 goals against average) and Newton Henry was Offensive Player of the Week (he leads the Rams with six goals and 14 points).
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