AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A new greeneway in Aiken’s northside could be in the works. Generations Park could soon bring to Aiken what North Augusta has — a greeneway.
“Nothing is imminent. It’s still some bit away,” City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk about the project.
Recently city council got a look at that preliminary idea. It’s proposed to possibly start at generations park, running north — ending north of I-20.
“We wanted a sort of take the temperature of the council to see if it was something they might be interested in us looking at pursuing. This is an extremely preliminary idea,” he said. “I think council at this point reacted favorably. So we’ll be continuing to look at it,” Bedenbaugh added.
In addition to Generations Park, the city recently acquired additional property near the city reservoir on the other side of I-20, about 12 miles from the city limits. Now they decided it’s time to seriously take a look at this option. “Staff internally put two and two together and looked at the map and said, it’s conceivable that something like this could be pursued,” he shared.
Although there is a greeneway in North Augusta, city leaders say in this area, it could make a positive impact. “We’ve got an abundance of natural beauty, parks, a lot of cultural activities to do. This would be just another thing that I think residents would enjoy,” Bedenbaugh said.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with a number of people who had mixed reactions to the plan. Most thought would it be a good idea. At least one person said she would like to see it in another part of the city.
As for funding, there are options to pay for the project. “There are a lot of third-party sources from other levels of government. Certainly, it could be even something that could be contemplated for a future 1% sales tax ballot. So there are lots of ways to fund this,” he shared.
NewsChannel 6 has learned this will be a traditional sort of multi-use greeneway trail. “It would span approximately six to eight miles at a minimum,” he revealed. Proposed routes will be identified. “This is the first step in a very long journey,” Bedenbaugh added.
It’s still a bit away before the council will have any action items to consider.