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A City of Carrollton ribbon cutting Saturday, June 14, marked the official opening of the river walk along the Ohio River.
The 10-foot wide walk runs along the bank from Fifth Street to the parking lot at Point Park and has decorative stamping on the edge. The lighting along the path is now operational, and the benches will be installed soon.
“This is a historic day in Carrollton,” Mayor Gene McMurry said to those in attendance, noting that citizens have been asking for a river walk since the early 1980s. “… I think it’s going to be an asset to the community.”
The event was held in conjunction with the official opening of Pool 1 on the Kentucky River Water Trail. The Kentucky River Water Trail is a project of the Kentucky Riverkeeper and the National Park Service to improve access to the 256-mile long river for boaters who enjoy paddling, fishing and other recreational activities on the water. There are four pools between Carrollton and Frankfort, McMurry said.
McMurry thanked the Kentucky Riverkeepers and Kentucky River Authority Director Jerry Graves for all their hard work toward opening the Kentucky River to the public.
“I want to commend the city and the mayor and the past mayors who have had this vision and helped make this a reality,” Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said of the river walk. He also said he appreciates the river way being opened up. “I love the Ohio River, but the Kentucky River is beautiful.”
Four years ago, there were plans to put concrete barriers up at Locks 1-4, Graves said. Now, the goal is to have those locks operational by spring of 2015. Locks 1 and 2 may be open by September, he said.
Kentucky Adventure Tourism Director Elaine Wilson thanked Two Rivers Adventures owner Brent Leite, Carrollton/Carroll County Tourism Director Misty Wheeler and Kentucky Riverkeeper Pat Banks and said she will continue working with them to promote Carrollton. Carrollton has the assets to be successful.