If you’ve been driving Raleigh’s Beltline between Wade Avenue and Glen Eden Drive, sneaking peeks into the woods and wondering when on earth the House Creek Greenway is going to open, the answer is June 25.
That’s the official answer. In reality, it should be passable by Memorial Day.
The eagerly anticipated 2.9-mile greenway will link the 11-mile Crabtree Creek Trail to the north with the Reedy Creek/Museum of Art/Rocky Branch/Umstead/Black Creek greenway network to the south. It was supposed to open in March, but City of Raleigh greenway guru Vic Lebsock said the contractor encountered problems relocating utilities, especially around Glen Eden Drive, where the greenway tunnels under the road, then loops up to it to cross the Beltline before continuing north on the west side of the highway. Those delays late last fall pushed back the paving date, and this being a N.C. Department of Transportation-supported project, paving is prohibited between December 15 and March 15.
“You can’t lay asphalt when it’s cold,” says Lebsock. And while, yes, this was a mighty warm winter and they probably could have paved, “you need a number of continuous days in a row, and that’s hard to predict.”
Lebsock adds that the project isn’t late. “The contract date for completion is June 25. The contractor actually had been ahead of schedule.”
Tomorrow (Friday, the 13th), Lebsock says they should be paving the stretch of House Creek at Glen Eden. Next week the remaining missing pavement around Horton Street should be done. The last major work remaining will be boardwalk through wetlands, also in the Horton Street area. Lebsock says that should be done by the third week in May.
From there, it’s a matter of the contractor dotting the greenway’s i’s and crossing its t’s. But Raleigh greenway users are an impatient lot who aren’t prone to let a little incompleteness interfere with their fun.
Expect heavy thru traffic by Memorial Day.
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Come back next week when GetGoingNC.com will give an update on the Neuse River Trail on Tuesday and on Wednesday take a look at what happens when the current $35 million greenway building boom concludes at the end of next year.