Staff Photo: Jason Braverman . Part of the Richard Trice Trail at Suwanee Creek is flooded over following several days of heavy rain in the area. Clear skies and warmer temperatures are in store heading into the weekend.
SUWANEE -- When Joseph Dwyer and his wife moved to Suwanee three years ago, the Suwanee Creek Greenway was a selling point to the area.
Because the Dwyers have been impressed with the area parks and other green areas, they're willing to chalk up a construction inconvenience to being in the best interest of the city.
"If the city of Suwanee thought it should be done, it must be necessary," said Dwyer, a medical student at the Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "We're taking it in stride because it's all in the name of improvement."
Dwyer and his wife run or bike about three days a week around the Martin Farm Road area, but have had to alter their route, or not exercise at all during rehabilitation to the Greenway, he said. That's nothing new, because Suwanee Creek would cause its own re-routes for a couple days at a time after heavy rains.
The Greenway rehabilitation project, which began in November, is replacing existing asphalt and boardwalk that was installed in the 1990s with wider concrete sections. A wetter than normal January delayed the concrete portion of the project, but workers have accelerated progress this past week, said Mike Maddox, capital projects manager for the city.
"They've gotten done more this week than all of January," Maddox said.
Phase 1 includes the stretch from Martin Farm Road to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, while Phase 2 is from Lawrenceville-Suwanee to Suwanee Elementary. Depending on weather, Phase 1 is tentatively scheduled to be finished around the end of March, while Phase 2 is set to end in June, but Maddox said it's difficult to give specific dates.The project, which began in November, costs about $1.2 million and is funded through SPLOST and open space bond funds.Maddox said the concrete wouldn't look as deteriorated as the asphalt, and the boardwalks would look more like what residents are used to south of Martin Farm Road.
The first of several spring 5K races in the area went smoothly on Feb. 7, as the route was re-routed through the Old Town area, said Amy Doherty, events coordinator with the city of Suwanee. The re-route requires police to direct traffic, and is more hilly.
"We get spoiled using the trail because it takes fewer police officers," Doherty said.
Pat Montgomery, who is a Suwanee Greenway ambassador, said her house is within walking distance of the trail, but the construction has caused her to drive to an unobstructed area.
"I don't understand why they were going to do that because it seems fine to me," Montgomery said.Maddox said that the two phases were done in part to maximize accessibility.