Works begins on Cane Creek access point

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 12/20/17

CORDOVA — The Cordova Street Department began site preparation last week on a new boat launch at Cane Creek.

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Works begins on Cane Creek access point


CORDOVA — The Cordova Street Department began site preparation last week on a new boat launch at Cane Creek.

The access point taking shape on Gardner’s Gin Road near Neal Akins Bridge is part of the Walker County Waterways Project, an effort to connect 31 miles of navigable streams by 2019.

Funding is provided by a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

Elyse Peters and Jenny Short of the Walker County Health Action Partnership gave Cordova City Council members an overview of the project, which also includes improvements at Disney Lake and Barney Beach, at the Dec. 12 council meeting.

Short said the Cane Creek access point will be similar to one created on Walston Bridge Road in 2016.

At both sites, fishermen and kayakers were risking their own safety by parking their cars on the edge of a busy roadway and navigating a steep drop-off to the water.

“This will provide better access off the road. There will be signs indicating there is a boat launch for deceleration coming in both directions. There will be a parking area — not lined parking but with railroad ties, and there will be a gentle slope down to the water,” Short said.

The Walker County Board of Education, which owns the property adjacent to the right-of-way on Gardner’s Gin Road, provided a memorandum of understanding in order for work to begin.

Council members also got a preview of plans to turn Disney Lake into a recreation hub.

The Alabama Power Foundation has provided $15,000 to construct an 8-foot by 40-foot fishing pier to replace a smaller pier that was torn down several years ago. An additional $20,000 from the Walker Area Community Foundation will be used to improve the parking area, create a kayak staging area and install storyboards that tell the history of Disney Lake.

Separately, Lucky Traweek, a member of Boy Scout Troop 114 in Cordova, recently built a public restroom at Disney Lake as an Eagle Scout project.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is working on a new lease for the existing boat launch, as well as a layout for proposed improvements and construction plans.

“We are really thrilled with this partnership with DCNR. They have done all of the design work, which saved us untold sums of money. We also have a partner to go forward and pursue the permits that are necessary,” Short said.

Upon the conclusion of the Walker County Waterways Project, three new access points will have been created and three additional ones will have been improved. Half of the targeted access points are located in the Cordova area.

The project will connect 31 miles of waterways stretching from Highway 257 in northern Walker County to Cordova's Barney Beach in the south.

Like improvements at the Walker County Lake that have been ongoing for two years, the Walker County Waterways Project is part of the local Health Action Partnership’s mission to encourage active living “We’re busy building infrastructure in our community, creating opportunities for people to recreate. One of the most important things for us is creating opportunities for people to have free access for physical activity,” Short said.

The waterways project was conceived after several of Walker County’s most popular waterways were added to the Alabama Scenic River Trail in 2015. The goal is to provide better access to the four floats selected for the trail — Blackwater Creek, the Mulberry and Sipsey forks of the Black Warrior River, Wolf Creek and Lost Creek and Cane Creek.

Signs featuring a logo that complements the Walker County Lake brand unveiled earlier this year will be installed at each access point.

“We will have an informational panel on-site that shows the map of the route, what to expect, general paddling safety information and local attractions like what is historically important, interesting flora and fauna and other things you might see along that route,” Peters told the council.

Peters and Short invited council members to help decide on the official names of Cordova’s access points and submit information for the information panels and storyboards.