City plans to extend trail from Chattanooga Avenue to Haig Mill Lake Park

Charles Oliver/Daily Citizen-News

The Dalton Public Works Department plans to extend sidewalk along Chattanooga Avenue to the entrance to a hiking and biking trail and to extend that trail along Mill Creek to Haig Mill Lake Park.

Dalton residents would be able to bike or hike from the Crown Mill area to Haig Mill Lake Park under plans being developed by the city's Public Works Department.

Members of the Public Works Committee, which includes City Council members Tyree Goodlett and Annalee Harlan, were briefed on the plans.

The first phase will extend sidewalk north along Chattanooga Avenue to the entrance to the Eagle Walk at Mill Creek, a half-mile walking and biking trail that runs parallel to Mill Creek that was constructed as an Eagle Scout project six years ago.

"This project will be most likely completed using our in-house Street Maintenance Division staff," said Public Works Director Andrew Parker. "The funding for materials will come from the 2015 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) for sidewalk projects, and an estimated budget for this phase of the project is $250,000. A pedestrian bridge is included in this portion of the project to span Mill Creek."

Parker said that work will likely start in the spring of 2021 and be completed by that summer.

The second phase will extend that trail about another mile to connect to Haig Mill Lake Park.

"This portion of the project will involve the design and construction of a multi-use path for pedestrian/cycling connectivity to Haig Mill Lake Park," Parker said. "The alignment will be parallel with Mill Creek, and this portion of the project will require a set of design plans so that we can secure bids from private contractors for completion of the work. We’re estimating this portion of the project to be in the $500,000 to $700,000 range."

That funding has not been approved by the City Council, but officials say they expect council members will approve the funding.

Parker said that work should start in the summer or fall of 2021 if the funding is approved.

Some Dalton residents said they think the trail will be well used.

"To be honest, I didn't even know that trail was there," said Tony Hall. "But I think if they extend it out to Haig Mill Lake a lot of people will use it to go out there."

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