Deck below bluff sought by Community Alliance

Published 12:07am Saturday, November 23, 2013

NATCHEZ — By this time next year, visitors to and residents of the area may have a new place to spend time appreciating the view of the Mississippi River from its Natchez banks.

The Community Alliance has decided the next improvement it will pursue for the Natchez Trails will be to add a deck on the trails where they drop below the bluff near the river, John Holyoak with the alliance said.

“We’ll add an 18-by-20-foot deck where you can go down on the lower level and sit and see the river,” he said.

Holyoak’s comments were made at the Friday Forum, a weekly community information event sponsored by the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Alcorn State University.

The project would also clear — though not clear cut — some of the growth along the lower trail, said City Engineer David Gardner, who is a member of the Community Alliance.

“Right now, you have a nature trail that goes below the walk, but you can’t really see the river well, but there are some areas that lend themselves to the deck,” he said.

“It would be a great place to kind of congregate, maybe have some functions there, but it just adds another dimension to the Trails. We are trying to give it some features that will bring people back.”

Holyoak said the Community Alliance already has some funding for the lower trail project but is still looking for donations of things like skirting and paint for the decks.

The project also has to have formal approval from the Natchez Board of Aldermen, and Holyoak said work would start during the summer.

“The trails are a project that is sort of an evolution, where it’s OK, we have these funds, let’s clear these trees out,” he said. “I think right now the bluff is evolving.”

The Community Alliance is a non-government, non-profit group composed of the members of several other organizations and local leaders dedicated to community development.