30-mile bike and pedestrian trail planned from Mooresville to Ch - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

30-mile bike and pedestrian trail planned from Mooresville to Charlotte

Posted: Updated:

Two counties are teaming up to build a 30-mile multi use trail from Iredell County to Mecklenburg County.

"It will be one of our first regional trails that cross county borders. It will allow people to cycle to Uptown Charlotte to work, to play, to go to Panthers games" says Gwen Cook, who is a Planner with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.

The trail will run between Uptown Charlotte and Downtown Mooresville, and connect the greenway in all of the communities in between.

Cook says the region lacks a north south corridor and this trial will provide that corridor, and mostly off road.

"A lot of bicyclists I think will use this corridor because there will be some long straight runs and will be appealing to that community," Cook says. 

Planners believe the trail will not only give people a place to exercise, and increase fitness - it will decrease congestion on local roads.

"On the local level, there will be the most noticeable difference then in the long run of the trail you're going to see your long range commuters using that," says Cook. "It's not going to relieve a lane on I-77 and we're not claiming it will do that. But it gives an option for active transportation that serves more needs and more uses."

"This trail will become the backbone of each community's greenway system and connects the communities in a way we have not been able to accomplish this far," say Davidson's Mayor John Woods.

The trail will go through Davidson. And Mayor Woods says it will improve "recreation, bicycling, and light kind of transportation effort."

County officials say the plan is to build the trail alongside the planned Red Line Rail. Transportation officials are still trying to get funding for the Red Line.

Planners say the Mooresville to Charlotte Trail can be a stand-alone project if the Red Line doesn't become reality.

They say it likely take at least 10 years before the entire trail is open. They say it will be developed a few miles at a time.

"I imagine Downtown Davidson to Downtown Huntersville will be one of the first corridors to get focused on," says Cook. "Those active corridors will be developed first. Then more rural connections between them will probably come afterwards."

For now, the question is money. Where is the money coming from to build the rail?

Mayor Woods says he thinks, "It will come through open space funding or federal funding. But also we will look for other grants. And certainly that will become a key issue for the counties in particular."

"There's an ebb and flow to the availability of public money over time. There's ebb and flow to the availability of private money over time and you just plan for it and work toward it strategically," says Cook.

"Two projects in the 2008 General Obligation Bond Program are on this corridor. Those two   projects will go ahead in the next 8-10 years. It's a long term project. The towns are also working on getting portions done in their jurisdictions."

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow