Sandy Creek Park Closings and Maintenance Notices

There are currently two closings and three notices for this location.
Field status and closing information can be found on the Field Status page.
Bridge Replacement on Lakeside Trail at Sandy Creek ParkComplete
Lakeside Trail Reopened to Through Hiking

Facility 436 | Updated: 7:45 PM, April 20, 2017 | Posted: 12:15 PM, January 13, 2017
Annual Bridge and Boardwalk inspections in 2016 noted structural deficiencies as well as natural changes in the stream banks which were compromising Bridge #4 on Lakeside Trail.  Funding from SPLOST 2011 Project 16 (Park and Facility Improvements) allowed Leisure Services to begin replacement planning almost immediately.  By December civil and structural engineering had been completed and a purchase order issued for manufacture of the bridge structure.
Photo of the previous bridge #4 on Lakeside Trail from the 2015 Bridge and Boardwalk Inspections.
Photo of the completed concrete abutments for the new Bridge #4 on Lakeside Trail at Sandy Creek Par
Site work to replace this bridge began February 21, 2017 temporarily closing the Lakeside Trail to through-access as the existing structure had to be removed. Installation of the concrete abutments which support and anchor it during high winds and floods was completed in approximately 3 weeks--an impressive feat with nearly 14 tons of material transported to the site via the trail from the closest road access over a mile away.
Monday, crews transported nearly a ton of bridge components.  Small components were carried in via the trail; but, larger components-some as long as 45 ft-crossed the lake on the park's pontoon boat and were carried the last quarter mile from the lakeside by hand.

Tuesday, a crew of nine assembled the fibreglass structure with nothing more than hand tools and began the process of installing decking the bridge.
Photo of assembled bridge structure for the replacement Bridge #4 on Lakeside Trail at Sandy Creek P
Photo of the completed replacement of Bridge #4 on Lakeside Trail at Sandy Creek Park.
Wednesday, the bridge was anchored to the abutments with the last decking, handrail installation, and finishing touches completed Thursday as seen in the photo at left.

The new bridge not only replaces the old structure but also provides a safe crossing for horses using the Buckeye Trail and should last approximately 60 years with maintenance every 20.

For a complete listing of our trails, check out out Trails listing at

Boardwalk Closing on Cook's Trail -- Bridge Reopened
Facility 449 | Updated: 1:00 PM, April 14, 2017 | Posted:  10:00 AM, April 7, 2017
The damaged section of the boardwalk has been fully rebuilt and is reopened to the public.

Update 4/14/17
Crews are working on repairs to the boardwalk. Seven stringers cracked stringers have been removed and replacement is underway. 36' of decking is also being replaced. Repairs are expected to be complete on Monday, April 17.

Original Post
The half-mile long wooden boardwalk on Cook’s Trail, which recently reopened to the public, sustained significant storm damage earlier in the week. The boardwalk was hit with a large live sweet gum tree which damaged approximately 25' of the structure. Crews are still assessing damage. The trail is currently flooded, so users are advised against use of the trail until further notice.

Cook's Trail Boardwalk Damage

Boardwalk Closing on Cook's Trail -- Repairs Complete
Facility 449 | Updated: 10:00 AM, April 13, 2017 | Posted:  AM, January 21, 2016

The half-mile long wooden boardwalk on Cook’s Trail, which closed last January for repairs, is reopened to the public.

The wooden structure was closed to the public in January 2016, after staff discovered numerous structural failures that were later verified by a team of engineers. The scope of repairs was deemed to be outside of the Leisure Services Department’s capital program, so in May 2016 the Mayor and Commission advanced repairs under SPLOST 2011 Project 16: Park and Facility Improvements.
Photo of the long boardwalk on Cook's Trail following extensive structural maintenance, decking r
SPLOST staff worked with contractors to complete the repairs, which included rebuilding multiple sections of the boardwalk’s structure, replacing rotting decking, and building multiple sections of handrails. The repairs are expected to add 5-10 years to the lifespan of the boardwalk.The re-opening of the boardwalk restores thru-access between the two Leisure Services facilities. Cook’s Trail is a 4.1 mile trail which includes a 0.9 mile spur, the Oxbow Loop. 

Update January 21, 2017
Work continues to progress on repairs to the long boardwalk.  To date, structural and decking repairs are about 90% complete.  We continue to anticipate reopening the boardwalk and restoring through access to the trail sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

Update December 2, 2016
In early November, contractors began work to repair a number of structural issues caused by age and environmental conditions along the longest boardwalk on Cook's Trail between Sandy Creek Park and Sandy Creek Nature Center.  To date structural and decking repairs have been completed on approximately 350 ft. of the 2500 ft. boardwalk.  At present we anticipate reopening the boardwalk and restoring through-access to the trail sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

Update May 6, 2016
On Tuesday, May 3, 2016 the Mayor and Commission approved the advancement of repairs to Facility 449 which will be funded through SPLOST 2011 Project 16.  Project Managers are hoping to complete repairs in the next 6-9 months; however, an exact schedule has not been determined.  Repairs to the structure are expected to extend the life for this boardwalk by 5-10 years allowing time for a replacement or alternative route to be funded.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Original Notice

Structural issues caused by age and environmental conditions have led to the closure of one of the boardwalks on Cook's Trail.  The closed portion (indicated in red on the map below) is not passable with this structure out of service.  Cook's Trail remains open for approximately one mile between Sandy Creek Nature Center and the closure and for approximately 2.5 miles between Sandy Creek Park and the closure.

A fence has been installed at the closed boardwalk.  Patrons should not attempt to pass this point on the trail as the boardwalk is unstable due to multiple issues including several sinkholes which have compromised at least 4 pilings.  Portions of this boardwalk could collapse without notice.

Due to the nature of the issues, repair of this structure will likely require complete replacement.  The repair and/or replacement process will take an extended period of time as we move through the necessary steps to plan, fund,  permit, and construct a new half-mile long structure in this sensitive wetland environment.

Roadwork Scheduled at Sandy Creek Park -- Phase II Complete
Facilities 292, 293, 294, 295, 307, 310, & 500 | Posted: 8:30 PM, February 28, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, crews completed repaving Beechtree Drive, Campsite Drive, and the Beach Service Drive. Thursday, March 9, crews restriped two parking lots and installed 107 parallel parking spaces on the loop end of Beechtree Drive converting it into a one-way road.  The next phase of roadwork is expected to begin in about a month. 

While work is underway, affected roadways and parking areas may be temporarily closed leaving some facilities in the park temporarily inaccessible.  We currently expect to complete most of the work on Thursday bringing the park fully back online for the beautiful weekend weather.

Original Post

Phase two of the pavement maintenance project being conducted at Sandy Creek Park is slated to begin this Thursday or Friday and may result in closures of Beechtree Drive, Campsite Drive, and the park service roads.  Paving work may resume early next week; however, all park roadways are expected to be open this weekend.

This paving project--sub-project 1 of  SPLOST 2011 Project 14: Sandy Creek Park Improvements--will rehabilitate more than 2.25 miles of roadways and service drives plus two of the park's 15 parking lots.  Phase one of this project performed crack seal work on all of the park roadways and was completed several weeks ago.  Phase two--starting now--will conduct chip sealing, patching, milling, repaving, and overlay activities as required to restore the condition of all of the park roadways and service drives.  Phase three--expected to begin in early spring--will install striping and roadway markings including the conversion of part of Beechtree Drive into a one-way loop with parallel parking.

Related work at Sandy Creek has replaced all of the regulatory roadway signage and installed new vehicular wayfinding signage to assist patrons in navigating the county's largest park.  Additional sub-projects at Sandy Creek will upgrade the picnic areas, replace all of the trash and recycling cans, renovate the dog parks, conduct trail improvements, and replace the one existing fishing pier with three new floating piers.

Was this page helpful for you? Yes No