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While there have been delays in an improvement project for one of Thomasville’s most popular parks, City staff reports that construction continues at Cherokee Lake. Kellerman Construction and the City of Thomasville have been moving forward with several key elements in the project, including improving and repairing all of the boardwalks and docks, dredging in the north end of the lake, and rehabilitating the park restrooms.

“Overall, this project has continued, despite delays that are due to an outstanding environmental permit,” said Lauren Radford, Director of Outreach and Engagement. “The permit is related to necessary repairs on the dam and is required for us to begin working on the last phase of this project. However, this project contains many other elements that we have addressed while the permit remains outstanding.”

Radford said that the community’s patience is appreciated with the project that began last fall and points out that tangible improvements are already visible.

“You can already see the work that has been completed on the park’s boardwalks and docks,” she said. “Because these items are now complete, we are able to reopen portions of the walking path. Those stretches of path not in the construction zone are expected to reopen next week.”

While the public is encouraged to enjoy the reopened areas of Cherokee Lake Park, park-goers are asked to avoid construction zones. This includes the public restrooms at the park, which were closed last week.

“We are very excited that the scope of this project was expanded to include restroom renovations,” Radford said. “Construction is expected to last 30-45 days and will be completed this summer. In the interim, portable restrooms are provided.”

Construction on the dam will commence once the Stream Buffer Variance Permit is received by the Environmental Protection Department. This portion of the project will address the slope of the dam, erosion control, and the walking path that crosses the dam. “We expected this final phase of the project to take about four to eight weeks,” said Radford.

“We know the delays have been disappointing, but we also know that the finished project will be a much improved park for our community,” explains Radford. “Our hope is that our citizens find it was worth the wait.”