Charlotte $77 million short for 26-mile greenway project

Trail funding comes up short

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A 26-mile greenway project called the Cross Charlotte Trail is not getting done.

Project leaders say they are $77 million short.

The original project proposal was for $38 million, but is not enough.

The proposed trail route would have gone from UNC-Charlotte the whole way down to Ballantyne.

But at the city council meeting on Monday night, the city engineer announced there is still 10.4 miles of trail to complete, and if Charlotte wants it done, it will cost $77 million more.

“How did you miss by $77 million?" asked Charlotte resident Dave Griffin.

Griffin has lived in Charlotte for nearly 2-decades. He’s perplexed, as are many others who hear the city is short double the amount they originally thought would be spent to make Cross Charlotte Trail.

Ely Portillo reports on development in our city for the Charlotte Observer. In part, he says, this is just how Charlotte is.

“Charlotte is a very car dependent city and it’s lacking in greenways,” said Portillo.

The Cross Charlotte Trail was exciting news to folks like Eric Strong, who loves to run. He just signed up for a 100-mile race.

“I run in the street if it’s a non-crowded area but I do focus on the greenways,” said Strong.

Eric is also legally blind, so greenway space to him is even more important.

“It’d be a lot safer,” said Strong.

The financial trouble came out in Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“I’m flabbergasted by these numbers,” said one meeting member.

The city engineer now says it will take $115.7 million to finish, a difference of $77-million.

Taxpayers like Dave Griffin say they just want to know what's going on.

“So we’re just gonna quit in the middle or are they going to try to come back to us for more funding? More taxes, more bonds?” said Griffin.

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