WILMINGTON — City consultants and officials are inching closer to securing pedestrian connectivity between the Cross City Trail and the recently completed South College Road Trail.
Though the project is running a few months behind, the city is slated to construct a roughly 4.3-mile path along Holly Tree and Greenville Loop roads.
Construction will begin by spring 2022, according to Wilmington senior construction project manager Mike Naklicki. Monday, Naklicki gave Wilmington City Council a presentation on the project, offering updates and sharing the projected timeline and costs.
From Holly Tree to Oleander
Budgeted as part of the voter-approved $44 million 2014 Transportation Bond, the Greenville Loop Trail will pick up pedestrian and cyclist path where it currently drops off at the end of the South College Road Trail, a $1.4 million bond project completed last year.
Currently, the South College Road Trail ends across the street from Krispy Kreme. The city is awaiting federal funding to coordinate a signalized crossing on the north side, connecting the trail to Holly Tree Road. Because the city is awaiting funding for this crossing, its completion is not tied to the same timeline as the Greenville Loop Trail project.
From the crossing, the path will continue down the north side of Holly Tree Road. Stewart Engineering began a feasibility study this summer and looked at alternative routes, including a path north of Holly Tree surrounding the marsh or one that would have cut through the Municipal Golf Course. Citing environmental issues and construction difficulties, consultants recommended this route follow directly along Holly Tree instead.
The trail is being designed in conjunction with planned $3 million intersection improvements for Pine Grove Drive. These vehicular improvements include the installation of a dual-lane roundabout at the intersection of Pine Grove Drive and Greenville Loop Road, and the addition of a southbound lane from the intersection along Pine Grove Drive to Beasley Road.
When the trail meets Pine Grove Drive, it will continue along the west side of the road until meeting Greenville Loop.
The beginning of the Greenville Loop Road path will start along the south side of the road until reaching a mid-block crossing location. This will be located at either Bradley Creek Elementary School or near Greenville Loop Seafood, bringing pedestrians from the south side of the road to the north side of the road. The trail will continue along the north side of Greenville Loop until reaching Oleander Drive.
The city is working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to install a west-side signalized crosswalk to allow pedestrians to safely cross Oleander Drive. From that crossing, the trail will connect to the city’s River to the Sea Bikeway on Park Avenue.
Over budget but covered
In all, the project will cost $8.2 million. The city has spent $168,000 in the design phase of the project so far out of a total budget of $6.8 million allotted through the transportation bond.
The costs leave the city with a $1.58 million funding gap, which Naklicki said he was confident the city would be able to cover on its own.
Cost-savings from sidewalk projects and the planned Masonboro Loop Trail will cover the entire gap, Naklicki said. The 1.4-mile Masonboro Loop Trail will run along the west side of the road, beginning where Pine Grove Drive ends and ending near city limits at Navaho Trail. Construction will begin on this trail by spring 2021.
“I hope this is being recorded because two years down the road, I want to replay this, your comments you just made,” councilman Charlie Rivenbark told Naklicki regarding the funding gap. “Because I’m excited that you think that this is going to cover it. But, buddy, I tell you what, our track record on some of the projects we’ve done recently say otherwise. I hope you’re right.”
Project design for the Greenville Loop Trail will wrap up by fall 2021, according to Naklicki.
View the presentation below:
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