From Valerie Boss: Dave Butler met with reps from our Park Pride group to discuss the county’s design concepts for the park and bridge. In attendance were Catherine Larson, Tim Bryson, Don Sprinkle, Warner McConaughey, and Valerie Boss. Dave brought along the just-completed concept design drawing (the design contractor is AMEC) for Ira B Melton Park. Here’s what it depicts:
• A trail extending counter-clockwise from the entrance at Desmond Drive (same location as current trail). It’s described as a natural surface trail. Gravel will probably be applied because of the mud.
• A stepping-stone crossing of the drainage at the base of the first downhill slope.
• An 8’ wide bridge spanning S. Ptree Creek at approximately the site of the old bridge, crossing into the old Decatur Water Works at Mason Mill Park.
• A short stretch of 6’ wide boardwalk connecting the Melton park trail to the end of the bridge.
• A trash receptacle, kiosk, and bench at the park entrance.
• The drawing does not include fencing, plants, or landscape details.
There are no plans to change the interior of the park. It will remain a wooded wetland.
The section of the Melton Park loop trail going clockwise to the new bridge site is no longer included in the county plan. Funding will be concentrated on the bridge and counterclockwise approach trail. Our Park Pride group will be permitted to continue work on the clockwise section of the loop. We requested a small bridge over the gulley that now has logs and boards in it. Dave estimated that it would cost $4000. Warner said that the “upside-down bridge” gulley crossing at Deepdene Park cost the same amount.
Dave said that the idea being kicked around for the S. Peachtree Creek bridge is a metal prefab, to be set in place by crane, probably from the Mason Mill side. A boardwalk passing through the Water Works on the Mason Mill side will tie the bridge to the Path trail. (This isn’t on the concept drawing.) Warner suggested that the county consider a narrower, lightweight bridge. Valerie proposed that the boardwalks be narrow also, creating a slow pace travel corridor. On the Mason Mill side, the boardwalk could have bump-outs in front of the ruins where people can congregate.
Dave agreed that Warner should meet with the project director and architects to discuss the South Fork Conservancy’s concepts for a lightweight bridge, as well as trailhead features. He also stated very clearly that he is serving as liaison to our community and that decisions regarding the park plan are not up to him.
Other topics of discussion:
• A future bridge over Glen creek, connecting the rest of the park to the 4 acres on the hill.
• Marked parking spots near the entrance.
• A crosswalk on Desmond near Park Lane.
• The necessity of getting information on what’s happening out to the community
• The joint neighborhood/county workday on Sept 8. Dave has scheduled a county crew to be at the park from 8am-2pm. We asked that they remove some box elders and fallen limbs at the entrance, and do some pruning near the park sign. Our community is invited to join in, removing invasive plants, collecting trash, etc.