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Liberty Ship Park Still in the Works Pending Access to Additional Funds

July 29, 2008

By Brandee A. Thomas, The Brunswick News, Ga.

Jul. 29–Glynn County residents may have forgotten about plans for the Liberty Ship Park on the Brunswick River, but city officials haven’t.

Last fall city officials had hoped to have the project along the northern ramp of the Sidney Lanier Briade started by last month, but so far no ground has been broken.

“We understand the demand and interest of the community and our target is to bid out the project by early fall,” said Bill Weeks, Brunswick assistant city manager.

“We are still pursuing additional grant and other possible private funding. The bottom line is, our goal is to have phase one of the project constructed by April or May of next year.”

City officials have been planning for the park since 2002, but had to delay beginning work on the project for several reasons including the park area being used as a staging area while the new Sidney Lanier Bridge was being constructed.

The project was also postponed due to funding shortfalls. To make the project more affordable it was broken into two phases.

“Phase one will include a greenspace park area adjacent to the Brunswick River with picnic shelters, grills, restrooms and parking,” Weeks says.

“It will also include a two-lane boat ramp into Plantation Creek with additional parking space for boat trailers and a fishing pier.”

Officials, estimate that it will cost around $1.5 million to complete the first phase of the park.

Phase two will include a mechanical boat launch and enhancements to an existing fishing pier. So far, the city has secured $1.1 million worth of funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the city is planning to contribute around $175,000 to the project.

While city officials want to continue looking for additional funding sources, they say it is important to go ahead and get the project started.

“We want to exhaust all possible opportunities for funding by the next month or so,” said Mayor Bryan Thompson.

“We also want to let the project out for bids soon, so that we can get a price locked in — with what the economy is doing, we want to be able to get as much locked in (financially) as possible.”

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Brunswick News, Ga.

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