Raleigh voters’ approval of a $40 million transportation bond last week means the entire Walnut Creek Greenway should be completed by the end of 2013. The greenway would run from the 28-mile Neuse Trail greenway, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012, west along its namesake waterway to N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, a distance of nearly 11 miles.
Currently, about seven miles of the Walnut Creek Greenway are done, from Lake Wheeler Road (the Centennial Campus) east to Worthdale Park. There, design is underway for a one-mile stretch that will extend the trail farther east; Raleigh senior greenway planner Vic Lebsock said construction on that stretch should be underway next summer and take six to nine months to complete.
The last 1.6-mile link to the Neuse Trail, the stretch covered under the transportation bond, can’t get underway until the Raleigh City Council actually sells the bonds. Lebsock expects that to happen next July 1. “From the date we get the funds it should be 18 months until completion,” Lebsock said yesterday. That would be by the end of 2013.
Projects tied to a 2003 Raleigh parks and recreation bond were delayed because that bond package assured voters that no bonds would be sold if it meant raising the sales tax. The current bond package did not include such an assurance, Lebsock said.
The Walnut Creek Greenway is the main southern thoroughfare in Raleigh’s greenway system. On the western end, it will link with three miles of greenway planned for N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, and with that link, connect with 1.1 miles of existing greenway that feeds into the 5.6-mile trail system at Lake Johnson.
Walnut Creek’s eastern end will join the 28-mile Neuse River Trail. The first eight miles of that greenway — from Falls dam downstream to the WRAL/CASL soccer complex on Perry Creek Road near Louisburg Road/U.S. 401 — is all but officially open (the official part of the opening will be Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. at the revitalized Falls of Neuse canoe launch off Falls of Neuse Road just below the dam).
Lebsock says construction is underway on the remainder of the Neuse Trail, which is expected to be finished to the Johnston County line by the end of next year. That greenway will meet five miles of greenway currently under construction along the Neuse from the county line into Clayton. The Neuse Trail is part of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Raleigh’s main greenway corridors
View Raleigh Greenways in a larger map