PONTOTOC, Miss. (WTVA) -- The countdown is on for the opening of a new 44.5 mile Rails-to-Trails project.
But, before people can use the tail to explore the rural countryside of north Mississippi, some work still needs to be completed.
Right now, there is new construction at four locations for the project called whistle stops.
"All trails have to have restroom facilities and rest stops up and down the trail.
They will serve as convenient stations. They will have restrooms. They will have a rest area," said Randy Kelley, executive director of Three Rivers Planning and Development.
According to Kelley, the Rails-to-Trails project is about 90 percent complete.
"A lot of people in and around the area are excited about Rails to Trails. It will give us an option somewhere to go walk, ride your bike, and just get out and enjoy nature and beauty that it has to offer," stated Amanda Satterfield, special waste consultant for Three Rivers Landfill.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation and Federal Highway will inspect the project.
"It will be open to the public daylight hours only," adds Kelley. "We'll be having a good bit of patrolled security going up and down it."
Officials say if a potential large industry decides to move to the area along the trail and it requires rail transportation, the right-of-way goes to the rail first.
That's because the trail connects to the Burlington Northern Railroad in downtown New Albany.
The idea of changing it back to a rail line would cause some concern for avid cyclists.
"I think that would be terrible. I think if they actually open a big plant I think they will find a good amount of commuters coming and using it. If they have the facilities available with the industries that they open people are looking for different ways to save on gas and energy and bicyling is a great one," said cyclist Celeste Burr.
"You know, there is not a lot of options around this area to be able to get out and do that kind of stuff and you know it's grealty needed in this area," added Satterfield. "I think everybody will be excited once we get it open and everybody gets out there and gets to enjoy it."
Grants and donations will help cover the cost of the overall project.
The four whistle stops will offer water, vending machines, waste baskets, picnic tables and parking.