By Joel Hall
Gov. Sonny Perdue announced this week that he has certified $331 million in transportation projects across the state, the funding for which will come through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Four million dollars of that money will go to the City of Morrow and the Clayton County government. It will help with the second phase of Morrow's Jester's Creek Pedestrian Path, and help the county with street-paving and-resurfacing projects.
According to the Office of the Governor, Morrow will receive $1 million in federal stimulus money and Clayton County will receive $3 million. "These projects will bring much needed repair and maintenance to roads, intersections and bridges," Perdue said in a press release. "The federal funds will strengthen our transportation network and help us to better serve Georgians."
Morrow City Manager Jeff Eady said the money will bring the city closer to completing the second half of its pedestrian pathway system, on which the city plans to begin construction next spring. The first half of the path system connects Reynolds Road and Oakridge Drive.
"It [the second phase of the pedestrian path] ties up from Navaho Trail to Morrow Road," Eady said. "A lot of that portion of the path is boardwalk, because it is above the wetlands. The project is going to cost a little over a million, so we are going to use some SPLOST [Special Local Option Sales Tax] funding to make up the difference."
Eady said the additional funds will also help with the city's plans to create a wetlands education center along the second phase of the pedestrian path. "We have been in talks with the Clayton County Water Authority to build some kind of wetlands education center along the path, similar to the Newman Wetlands Center," Eady said.
"It would add a lot of value to the trail itself. We have two elementary schools in the city limits. Any one of those schools could come down and learn about the importance of the wetlands."
Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Eldrin Bell said Wednesday that, while he "was not at liberty" to speak about specific road-resurfacing projects the stimulus money would fund, the county has "a readied list of projects that will be addressed all over our county."
"I know we have some problems up on Forest Parkway," Bell said. "I just took a complaint about a sink hole on Herring Way [in Riverdale]. We're using it to address a number of issues such as that."