After months of relatively quiet on the greenway front in Mount Airy, that’s about to change with plans announced for the start of construction later this year for an extension of the popular trail system.
The stage was set for this during the last meeting of the city council on Feb. 17. Officials voted then to amend a memorandum of agreement between the municipality and Scenic Consulting Group, recipient of a $205,000 contract last May related to the Granite City Greenway expansion.
Assistant City Manager Darren Lewis explained that the amendment to that pact involves having Scenic add bidding and contract administration to its previous array of services related to the greenway project for another $15,000 cost.
The project will extend the walking, running and cycling trail another 1.3 miles north of its present end point at Riverside Park to the area of SouthData Inc. on Technology Lane.
Lewis, who as former parks and recreation director has played a large role in the planning for that effort, said the contract change is a prelude for bidding the project out in early April, “at the latest.”
He said a groundbreaking for it hopefully will occur in late spring or early summer, with an anticipated completion date in December. The greenway already covers 6.6 continuous miles through town, composed of a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail that is heavily used.
Much of the project cost is being met with state funding, including money for the contract amendment, say city officials, mentioning a 2020 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant of $350,000 to Mount Airy Parks and Recreation for greenway efforts.
Scenic Consulting Group’s scope of work for the greenway extension also includes professional engineer services, design, the preparation of a site plan for the project, permitting, surveying and an environmental assessment.
Lewis is confident about the results.
“Scenic Consulting will bring experience and expertise to help manage this project from groundbreaking to project completion as we add mileage to the Granite City Greenway,” he observed. Lewis added that the facility continues to be a regional tourism draw along with a key recreational resource.
In a related development, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners also approved an easement agreement at its Feb. 17 meeting which will allow public parking and pedestrian access to the new greenway facilities.
This involves a donation of parking spaces for community use by another business on Technology Lane, Advanced Electronic Services Inc., according to Lewis.
The easement agreement — officially forged with an entity known as the Riverside Associates Property Owners Association Inc. — will include right of way access over, across and through an existing driveway and parking lot to the easement area.
That paves the way for the city to install accessories such as signs, bike racks and benches, under its terms.
Approval of an easement document for parking was needed to meet grant requirements, Lewis advised.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.