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City acquires grants for Greenway connection

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Greenway construction to connect Catawba College and Kelsey Scott Park is anticipated to begin in April.

The city has received multiple grants for a 0.88 mile long path from the Kelsey Scott Park at Old Wilkesboro Road to Forestdale Drive toward Catawba College. Part of the Carolina Thread Trail, the nonprofit has provided a $175,000 grant to help cover flood studies and design work. The city is providing about $125,000 toward the design. The city also received a Transportation Alternative Program grant for $1,046,500, in which the 80% was federal and 20% was local.

The project is expected to cost $2.8 million.

The project was divided into two sections beginning with the construction of a low-water bridge over Grants Creek from the existing trail near Forestdale Drive to Catawba College’s campus. The construction will last about three months. About $640,000 of the TAP grant will be for construction.

The city will begin easement acquisition in the spring for the remainder of the thrai.

Because the project received funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the TAP grant the city had to look at the impacts to publicly owned public parks and recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites.

The city’s position was the impact to Kelsey Scott Park from the greenway connection would not adversely affect the activities, features, or attributes qualifying a park, recreation area, or refuge for protection. The city received public comment for 10 days and it closed Wednesday at 5 p.m.

City Engineer Wendy Brindle said the connection will provide access to the existing trail and future extensions for both Catawba College students and the public from the east side of Grants Creek.

The city will continue to apply for additional grant money to help cover the funding gap and move the project forward.

The city’s Greenway System currently is a 4.5 miles long.

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