Negotiations over access to Oconee Hill Cemetery is holding up construction of a North Oconee River Greenway extension, but ACC officials say they only have a few details left to work out with the trust that oversees the historic cemetery.
ACC commissioners will vote Sept. 6 to approve plans for two more stretches of the Greenway south of Carr’s Hill, where it now ends—one following the river through the cemetery across the street from Sanford Stadium, and another near the College Station Road-Loop interchange.
In the past, trustees have been very strict about who can enter Oconee Hill Cemetery. ACC officials are negotiating details like fencing, gates, upgraded building materials and invasive plant removal to “express that you’re coming into a special place, someplace respectful,” Park Services Division Administrator Mel Cochran told commissioners at a work session Aug. 9.
“We just want to make sure it’s appropriate for the cemetery, appropriate for the greenway,” SPLOST project manager Derek Doster said.
When the project is finished, the Greenway will run down the eastern edge of campus, with spurs connecting campus and downtown to student housing off Barnett Shoals and the park-and-ride lot at the Lexington Road-Loop interchange, which will also tie in with the planned Firefly Trail.
But ACC is about $1 million short of being able to finish this phase of the Greenway. “There’s not enough money to do all the projects,” county Manager Blaine Williams told commissioners.
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