Completion of cross-city trail in sight
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 20:03
With the beginning of a new year, the Wilmington Cross-City Trail, a $6.8 million project, is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The trail has been completed in increments and so far it has reduced traffic and provided a place for people to get out and exercise.
The first section of the trail was completed in 2008. The most recent section of the trail was completed earlier this year and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Autumn Hall on Feb. 15. The entire trail is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
The project takes hours of planning before actual construction takes place; each section requires a storm water permit and a sedimentation and erosion control permit. The permits are issued by the NC Division of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure proper safety standards are put into the foundation of the project.
“The city construction inspector routinely checks to make sure that all permit requirements are being met,” said Darren Ivey, the Cross-city Trail construction manager.
Despite the time put into planning, unexpected problems can still occur. However, the city of Wilmington has been able to avoid major delays. Bad weather, unsuitable soils, unmarked underground utilities and unexpected field conditions could delay construction crews.
The construction problems and legal hurdles have added to the effort and work put into the project by everyone involved.
For UNC Wilmington graduate and competitive bicyclist Matt Maya, the work that has been put into the trail is worth it. Maya uses the completed sections of the trail a few times a month for transportation and cycling. Other Wilmington residents use the trail for activities such as running, biking and even rollerblading.
Despite the benefits, there has been some opposition to the construction. Residents in the College Acres neighborhood were initially opposed to a section of the trail being built nearby. After completion, residents in College Acres admitted the trail brought positive impacts to the neighborhood, according to Amy Beatty, the project director.
Safety is also a high priority for residents who plan to use the trail. The city is responding to safety worries by providing information on how to interact with vehicles and other people while on the trail. There is also a safety campaign called “See, Share, Be Aware” that UNCW is involved in.
As construction continues, Wilmington residents are eagerly awaiting the completion of a fully connected Greenway system.