Built in 1845 and designated by the United States Congress as Georgia’s first National Heritage Area in 1998, the Augusta Canal’s importance is unquestionable. The Heritage Area is designed to showcase the history of the Augusta Canal as it relates to the industrial development of Augusta and the south. A key aspect of the master plan for the Heritage Area includes recreational areas and a trail system.
This project includes a new three-mile section of the trail system, known as the River Levee Trail, which provides a critical link in the overall 13-mile system’s connectivity. This trail joins the Canal and its multiple trailheads to downtown Augusta along arguably one of the most scenic sections of the heritage area – the Savannah River.
With the addition of the innovative 250-foot suspension-bridge, a 190-foot prefabricated weathered steel bridge, and 416 feet of timber boardwalk, this project created new vistas along the river.
The design team, led by Benesch, has not only provided the long-wanted trail connectivity, it has also achieved the goal of providing alternative modes of transportation and serving recreational needs, while positively impacting the Augusta economy. The completion of this trail section provides direct access to the downtown area which boasts approximately half a million annual users.