Helena moving forward with Greenway project
By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer
HELENA – The Helena City Council approved funding for the Helena Greenway project, which is designed to eventually connect all of Helena’s walking trails with each other and with the city of Pelham’s trails.
Helena City Councilmember Hewy Woodman proposed the funding measures which would connect the future Helena trails with Pelham’s and to fund a study, which is one of the steps towards building the trails.
The Greenway project will eventually connect all of the schools, parks and neighborhoods in the city and is designed to include features like a boardwalk, bridges, tunnels and overlooks to showcase the natural features of the city.
“The funding that was voted on for the council was the project that has been in the works for 10 plus years,” Woodman explained. “We also had another payment to conduct an environmental study as one of the steps so that we could start building it when get the final approval from the Alabama Department of Transportation.”
The project would see much of the city connected through existing trails, and new ones that will be added in the future.
“The larger goal is to connect everything one day,” Woodman explained. “This project will help connect all the schools by sidewalk or trail. It will also link the Amphitheater and Old Town Helena area to the Helena Sports Complex. It will also open up access to view the Cahaba Lilies in Helena and several historic sites.”
After the city council unanimously voted to approve the funding request, the early stages of the project can begin, which will help finally push the system forward.
“There are a few more challenges that need to be resolved,” Woodman said. “But when released for construction it will take two years to complete, due to the complexity of the bridges and tunnels.”
This move will set Helena apart with one of the largest developed walking trails in the area, and will also provide further cooperation with the neighboring city of Pelham, giving residents of both communities a unique way to experience the sights and nature that the area offers.
“Helena will have one of the best walking trails in the state of Alabama,” Woodman said. “This is a major step toward our goal to connect our schools, parks and neighborhoods. It will improve the quality of life, encourage healthy living and tie the community together.”