City Council during its regular meeting on March 5 awarded a construction contract to finish a park that is months behind schedule.

Construction of the next phase of the Abernathy Greenway Linear Park will begin soon and city officials hope it can be completed by spring 2014. City Council awarded the $3.2 million contract to Johnson Landscape.

Johnon Landscape will have 180 days to complete the construction, which will include installing sidewalks, lighting, bathrooms and parking facilities.

The delay in awarding the contact has kept plans to install “playable art” – playground equipment designed by artists and donated to the city – on hold, leaving the art pieces in storage.

The current park plan calls for creating more than 20 acres of green space at the intersection of Abernathy, Brandon Mill and Johnson Ferry Roads. The city estimates the cost will be $13.6 million.

City officials broke ground on the park in 2010. The Playable Art project was anticipated to open in fall 2012, but was pushed back because of construction on Brandon Mill Road.

Residents’ concerns about the road widening and the design of the park have also caused delays.

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011-2014. He is the founder and editor of