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Officials start work on new walking trail

Residents searching for a safe place to walk, cycle, jog, orskateboard will soon have another exercise option.

“The project will be completed in the next 90 days, weatherpending,” said Brookhaven Recreation department Director TerryReid. “Biding has started. Once the bidding is over, it won’t takelong.”

The City Park trail will be one-mile long and 10-feet wide. Thewidth of the trail will accommodate pedestrians and “non-motorizedvehicles,” including bicycles, skate boards, and in-line skates,Reid said.

Reid said the park is ideal for the trail because of its centrallocation. The trail will be well-lit and will include exercisestations, rest areas, and water fountains.

The city recreation department received a federal grant from TheMississippi Wildlife Parks and Fisheries to cover 80 percent of the$100,000 project. The federal monies come from a federal tax of”non-highway, motorized vehicles” such as four wheelers,snowmobiles, and fishing boats.

Additional funds will be provided by the Pearl River BasinDevelopment District (PRBDD), an independent state agency primarilyconcerned with water-related projects from flood control, torecreation projects, to soil conservation.

The city will provide $10,000 toward the project, “most of whichwill cover in-kind expenses,” Reid said.

“Any work the city recreation department does towards theproject, we’re credited monetarily,” said Reid.

Recreation officials are working with several others on theproject.

“The recreational trails program is a joint effort of Brookhavenand Lincoln County, and they have requested professional assistancewith the application of the project,” said Paul Collins, with thePRBDD.

Collins, a landscape architect, will provide architecturaldesign, with assistance from Dungan Engineering, a privateengineering firm with offices in Columbia, Picayune, andMadison.

“Paul will provide landscape architecture and we’ll do civilarchitecture,” said Jeff Dungan. “We’ll help with layout and all ofthe things he needs for construction.”

From Dungan’s experience with similar projects, Brookhavenresidents will enjoy the convenience of the walking track.

“We have done this sort of project in Columbia, Richton, andTylertown. And the most satisfying thing about these projects ishow much use they get,” said Dungan. “Two weeks after this thing isfinished, I’ll promise you, 40 or 50 people will be using it on apretty morning.”