07/27/05 — Bicycle trail will be ready next year

View Archive

Bicycle trail will be ready next year

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 27, 2005 1:50 PM

Heavy traffic along a proposed route for a bike and pedestrian trail led city planners to reconsider its design, and they say it now it will be next year before it can be built.

The trail will run from Parkway Drive, along Harding Drive to New Hope Road, ending at Hare Road.

The two-mile trail will be constructed off the roadway, said planner Darryl Best. It was originally designed as a lane alongside the highway but the amount of traffic in the area makes that design too dangerous, he said. It will now be built as a separate asphalt path, 8-10 feet wide.

City officials will soon begin buying necessary rights of way along the route, Best said. Planners are expected to receive a topographical survey of the route within the next six weeks.

City officials first proposed the trail in 1999. It took several years for the route to be developed and for the city to obtain state and federal assistance. The city received a $342,000 federal grant to help pay for the work in 2003. The city was required to come up with $68,400 in matching funds.

Best said the trail should be ready for use in the spring of 2006. City officials had hoped it would be ready this year but after reviewing the increasd amount of traffic along the route, decided the trail should be further away from vehicles.

Rights-of-way along portions of the route have already been donated by some landowners, Best said. City officials will pursue the remaining rights-of-way after the survey is received, he said.

The consulting firm of Kimley-Horn and Associates of Raleigh will design the trail and the state Department of Transportation will have to approve the plans.

"There will be some red tape to go through with the Department of Transportation," Best said. "But we hope to start construction by the first of the year."