Biking is a popular past time on Jekyll Island, and with good reason. The island offers miles of both paved and unpaved biking pathways, which allow guests to travel alongside lush marshland, near beautiful beachscapes and through the legendary historic district. In an effort to enhance the biking experience for guests and residents, the Jekyll Island Authority is extending pathways to include a path that travel over marshland, as well as alongside roadways that receive more traffic. (Read more about the plan here.)
The Brunswick News reported today (February 22, 2013) about the progress being made on these path extensions and reported back on plans for completion. Read on for more information, then book your Jekyll Island stay soon to take advantage of these sleek new cycling additions!
Four Bridges Will Connect Bike Paths
By NIkki WIley
The Brunswick News
February 22, 2013
The Jekyll Island Authority began planning last summer for a bike path that would connect all of the trails on the island.
A permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was secured in August for a path connecting trails in the historic district to those on the north end of the island stretching to the Ben Fortson Parkway despite concerns from some Jekyll residents and environmental activists of the potential impact to marshlands. Plans called for four bridges to be constructed over marshlands and one existing bridge to be repaired.
It’s all part of a plan to add to Jekyll’s 25 miles of bike paths, connect existing paths on the island and link to the Coastal Georgia Greenway, a 155-mile bike and walking path that eventually will connect Georgia’s six coastal counties.
Authority officials previously said the bike path extension would serve both a recreational purpose and increase safety by encouraging cyclists not to travel along Riverview Drive itself.
Construction of the first phase of the bike path coincided with the renovation of the intersection on the Ben Fortson Parkway at the base of the Downing Musgrove Causeway, between the M.E. Thompson Bridge and Beachview Drive. Following the removal of the former Greeting Station in favor of a newer toll both on the causeway, crews began reworking the intersection to allow better flow of traffic.
The first phase of the project is 90 percent complete, said Cliff Gawron, director of landscape and planning for the authority that oversees the state park.
The majority of repaving has been completed, and the boardwalk extending over the marshlands is 70 percent complete.
Cyclists will have a view of marshlands, the Brunswick River and Sidney Lanier Bridge once the project is finished and open to the public.
The next step is to begin work on the portion of the path that will extend from the north end of the historic district to the Jekyll Island Airport with a small connector at the intersection of Old Plantation Drive and Captain Wylly Road.
Crews are currently working to put in erosion control measures before construction can begin. Gawron said the project is still on schedule and expects it will be completed by early May.
Environmental considerations have played a large part in the work, Gawron said, with porous concrete used in areas that are within 25 feet of the marsh allowing water to move through.
About 60 cabbage palm trees taken from the site of the old Jekyll Island Convention Center were also replanted as part of the landscaping of the Ben Fortson Parkway intersection