Frank Jackson bridge complete

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 23, 2010

The $50,000 elevated bridge project at Frank Jackson State Park is finished, and just in time for Scarecrows in the Park.

Thanks to the new bridge, campers can now have a more accessible and safe stay.

The project was announced in mid-July by Speaker of the House Seth Hammett and Sen. Jimmy Holley. Trailmasters President Kenny Short said the bridge will provide “accessibility and safety to the park.”

“It is more accessible for park workers, senior citizens and park users who want to go from the camping area to the swimming area,” he said.

Before the installation of the new 300-foot bridge, Short said children had to walk a long distance around the park to reach the swimming area. With the new bridge, it cuts the walk more than half.

Short said the bridge is accessible to park vehicles, but not motorized vehicles or bicycles.

In fact, bicycles aren’t allowed on the park’s trails, he said.

Work on the bridge project was completed by a construction company from Covington County, Short said.

“I’m glad we were able to keep the money at home,” he said.

Short said the project was a group effort among the Trailmasters, Hammett, Holley and many others within the community.

The Trailmasters, which organized about seven years ago, have been instrumental in adding walking trails to the park.

The newest portion of the four miles of walking trails is handicap-accessible, he said.

Short said the Trailmasters donated about 4,000 hours to the park last year and have about 75 members.

Now, the Trailmasters are busy preparing for their annual Scarecrow in the park event, which begins Oct. 1.

Short said any groups interested in attending are encouraged to schedule a time.

To schedule a tour, call 493-7248.

Kenneth Short and wife Jane, both Trailmaster members, invite the public to use the new bridge during this year’s Scarecrows in the Park event.| Kendra Bolling/ Star-News