There is a lot of activity going on at the Ross Barnett Reservoir. A new walking/biking trail is under construction that will link miles of outdoor land together from Rankin County to Madison County.
Reservoir officials say it's a scenic route that will not only enhance neighborhoods, but raise property values. The new multi-use trail begins on Post Road near Roses Bluff subdivision. It winds along Post Road and will connect to the Natchez Trace bike trail. But it's the scenic route in Old Trace park that will be a huge draw for outdoor lovers.
According to reservoir general manager John Sigman, "The trail is going to run along the waters edge through Old Trace park. It will be a very scenic portion of the trail, something that everyone is looking forward to," said Sigman.
While homeowners in this high dollar area of Ridgeland and Madison applaud the addition, some area residents were concerned about safety and security.
"We've had some concerns from neighbors about security and we are doing the best we can to address those issues," said Sigman.
The bike trail was to cut close behind homes in Overlook Pointe, too close. The trail will now be moved closer to the park entrance. The park and the trail will be locked every night at 11:00 p.m.
The multi-use trail will stretch for miles around the reservoir. Sigman said "They are attractive. they are landscaped, they are built well. It actually increases not only quality of life but property values."
Construction will soon begin on a rocky stretch of lower Spillway Road going east into Rankin County. For now, bikers have to maneuver a narrow median. Potholes are also being patched.
Work is about to begin in the water as well by Pearl River Valley Water Supply District personnel. A dredge is in place to remove silt in channels on both sides of Overlook Pointe and Point Clear in Madison County.
Sigman says, "There will be some dredge pipe and some silt fence in the middle of the lake. We'll have these marked and signed, but boaters need to be aware."
The dredged material is to be disposed in a nearby deep portion of the lake that will be bordered by a turbidity curtain, according to reservoir officials. Boaters should exercise extreme caution in the area.
Dredging in the two channels will begin in the next few months. Federal enhancement funds through MDOT will pay for the $1.7 million dollar trail and road repair project.
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