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Pedestrians in the Greenmont and South Park neighborhoods will soon have a new way to access the rail trail and downtown. Preliminary work has begun on a pedestrian bridge that will connect lower Greenmont with the rail trail.
The new pedestrian bridge will be located on the site of the old Decker’s Creek Avenue vehicle bridge, which once connected Greenmont and South Park to downtown. This site was identified in the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Plan as the number one project to improve residents walking and biking and will help make Greenmont a more transportation friendly neighborhood.
“We are very excited that this project is moving forward,” said City Manager Paul Brake.
“It will provide residents in Greenmont and South Park with additional recreation and transportation opportunities. They will now be able to walk or bike to about 80 percent of the city. This will help create greater pedestrian connectivity between the Greenmont and South Park neighborhoods to the downtown area.”
The pedestrian bridge is being built offsite and will be installed in two pieces. In preparation, crews will do preliminary work on the site over the next two months, including clearing vegetation, removing trees and drilling caissons. While this section of the rail trail remains open, there may be times when pedestrian traffic will be delayed or stopped for short periods of time.
The prep work is expected to be completed by the end of January 2018 and the entire project completed by April 2018. The design and inspection work are being done by Alpha Engineering and the preliminary work and installation of the bridge are being completed by Green Rivers Group, LLC.
The project includes funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternative Program, or TAP, administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.
“This project would probably not have come to fruition if not for the TAP funds,” said Brake. “Developing the city’s non-motorized infrastructure at this location will help improve properties and encourage private investment in these neighborhoods.”
The TAP funds will help cover 100 percent of the design cost, totaling $85,450. It will also cover $282,766 of the administration, inspection, and construction costs and the city will cover the remaining $90,000. The total cost of the project is $458,216.