Ocmulgee Heritage Trail expansion in Macon nears start date

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Several officials in Macon say we’re just months away from construction to begin for the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail expansion project. The goal is to create a total of eight miles where people can walk or bike ride. 

Even on an overcast day you can find visitors exercising, spending time with friends, or walking their dog on the trail. 

"It’s perfect. I think it’s a beautiful thing for downtown Macon to continue expanding," parkgoer Brian Corrigan said. 

He brought his family out for a picnic just before his kids head back to school. 

"Come down and enjoy being outside and enjoy the beauty of downtown Macon. You can see things like the train and the river. Downtown has beautiful park," Corrigan said. 

Plans are in the works to expand the trail thanks to fundraising efforts from several groups like the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, The Grassmann Trust, and the James Hyde Porter Charitable Foundation and non-profit NewTown Macon. The organizations raised $225,000.

"It will connect to the two portions and create 8 miles of trail," Nicole Kubas, the director of place at NewTown Macon, said. 

The plan is to extend the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail about a mile and a half from the bridge at Coliseum Drive to the Ocmulgee National Monument. 

"It’s just a really great thing that Macon has that we can offer. Just having the river and being able to exercise along the river, and utilize space that would otherwise not be," Kubas said. 

41NBC spoke with Jim David, the superintendent at the Ocmulgee National Monument. He says he and his staff are excited for the project, but there are still a few hurdles left before shovels can hit the dirt. 

"…a thing called a FONSI. Stands for "Finding Of No Significant Impact." It basically shows you that all of the environmental clearances have been done and there was nothing found," David said. 

Once David’s boss signs off, then a bid to begin work will be sent out. 

"We’re very excited about it. We think it’s going to be a very popular trail. It’s going to be a nice access for people to walk further along the river," David said. 

He adds it’s an opportunity to build and bring more people to enjoy the sights and sounds in their own "backyard."

David says the mile and a half Ocmulgee Heritage Trail expansion project is scheduled to be complete by fall of 2015. 

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.