published Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Lookout Mountain sister cities aim to link sidewalks

A Town of Lookout Mountain Public Works crew readies the final section of sidewalk for paving in the 900 block of Lula Lake Road. Workers from left are Mike Blevins, Tony Kirk, Joe Steele and John Millican. The work is in its final phase, according to Blevins. Concrete sidewalks will stretch from the Tennessee/Georgia state line northward to the business district of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.
A Town of Lookout Mountain Public Works crew readies the final section of sidewalk for paving in the 900 block of Lula Lake Road. Workers from left are Mike Blevins, Tony Kirk, Joe Steele and John Millican. The work is in its final phase, according to Blevins. Concrete sidewalks will stretch from the Tennessee/Georgia state line northward to the business district of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.
Photo by Tim Barber.

When the United States' first transcontinental railroad was officially completed in May 1869, the historic event was commemorated by gently tapping a "last spike" made of 18-karat gold to link the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads.

Likewise, Lookout Mountain, Ga., and Lookout Mountain, Tenn., each are building pedestrian pathways on Lula Lake Road to connect the sister cities -- though it's unlikely they'll finalize the effort with a golden paving stone.

"I doubt it," said Braden Haven, city manager on the Georgia side.

Haven said the Georgia city eventually intends to finish the remaining 700 feet, or so, to reach the border.

"Right now, it's hard for us," Haven said. "We don't have a large amount of employees."

The Georgia city's employees should start working soon on the sidewalk, Haven said, but now they are painting City Hall and cleaning up leaves.

"We need to get the painting wrapped up and the leaves wrapped up," Haven said.

A crew of employees on the Tennessee side was working this week to prepare the roadside for the roughly 300 yards of pedestrian pathway that still needs to be installed. It may be weeks before it's laid, Town Consultant Dwight Montague said.

Lookout Mountain, Tenn., will spend about $10,000 to $12,000, he said, from its general fund to finish the pedestrian pathway.

"In future years, we hope to put in more sidewalks in other places," Montague said. "But that all depends on finding money to do it."

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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