Yesterday we got word that Groce Rd, next to our office, would be closed while a new pedestrian bridge was being moved into place across the Middle Tyger River. Later in the afternoon things had slowed down enough that I decided to wander down and see what was going on. I got there just as the bridge was being lifted into place, and decided to stay and watch it happen.
The new pedestrian bridge is part of a grant-funded project called “Middle Tyger Connected.” Funding has been provided by the Mary Black Foundation, with additional funding from the Middle Tyger Chamber of Commerce and District Five Schools of Spartanburg. The project will connect the town of Lyman with the district’s S.C.A.L.E outdoor classroom and the new Stoneledge Park in Duncan.
The Mary Black Foundation has been promoting “walkable communities.” Part of the mission of their granting agency is to “support the development of places and programs that encourage physical activity.” As far as the bridge is concerned, District Five and the community is concerned about the safety of its students and pedestrians. Previously there was no safe way to cross the river on the road because there were no sidewalks.
With assistance from organizations such as the local Boy Scouts, the community has developed the River Place Park along the banks of the Middle Tyger, just below the Springs Mill Dam and the Middle Tyger Library. Landscaping, park benches, and picnic tables have been added, overlooking the small rapids below the dam.
The new steel pedestrian bridge uses old pillars and abutments from a previous automotive bridge. I watched with several members of the community and district officials as the bridge was lifted by crane and swung into place.
As much as I would have loved to stay, I had to get back to the office. After work, however, I had to see the other end of this project – Stoneledge Park. I drove into Duncan and turned onto the Duncan-Reidville Road. Just off of that road, on Spring Street, I was amazed at the park I found. Stoneledge Park is beautifully landscaped, with amazing sculpture and architecture.
My favorite piece of playground equipment ever has to be this icosahedral climbing set…
What a cool way to exercise AND learn about geometry! The park also has a waterfall…
The whole area is beautiful, including the picnic shelters and restrooms…
One of the most stunning features is this lovely metal tree sculpture…
From this angle, the sculpture blends in the the trees in the background, and it’s almost hard to see where the sculpture ends and the trees begin.
The waterpark, Shipwreck Cove, is still under construction. The town is hoping to have that part of the park completed in May of this year, although it looks like they still have quite a bit to go.
All of these improvements are wonderful. I hope that the communities can sustain these treasures, and not let them fall into disrepair. I know the problems we have had in trying to take care of S.C.A.L.E. and keep vandalism down. I do know that that I plan to take advantage of these parks more often, and will be carrying sandwiches out to one or more of them for lunch when the weather is nice.