Ribbon Cutting set for new Columbus Connector Trail

Lowndes County and the City of Columbus will celebrate the opening of another outdoor recreation amenity at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 8, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new trail that connects the Columbus Soccer Complex and the Columbus Riverwalk.

The 1,050-foot long connector trail runs underneath Highway 182, parallel to Moore’s Creek. The Columbus Soccer Complex is on the east side of 182. The Riverwalk is on the west side of the busy, divided four-lane highway. The connector trail is 10 feet wide and constructed of mostly concrete, but it also boasts 340 feet of elevated wooden boardwalk under the 182 bridge, plus two pedestrian foot bridges, one 70 feet long, and the other 35 feet long. The soccer complex has more than a mile of concrete sidewalks that are used for exercise, while the Riverwalk stretches for 2.2 miles along the banks of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

“This project connects two great community assets in Columbus,” said Harry Sanders, president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors. “This is a great thing for our quality of life and adds another bright spot to the downtown area.”

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith agreed: “This really is a great asset for the City of Columbus. Now the Riverwalk and our new Soccer Complex are connected. It’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

Sanders and Smith are expected to speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will be held at its new trail’s connection with the Columbus Riverwalk, west of 182. Those wishing to attend the ceremony can park in the field and roadway adjacent to the trail. Also expected to speak at the ceremony are Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert and Melinda McGrath, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Total construction cost for the connector trail was about $700,000. MDOT provided 80 percent of the funding, with the City and County funding the remainder. Neel-Schaffer provided design and construction oversight services, and Weathers Construction was the contractor.