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Raleigh area Greenway trail will soon be more connected to region

The last stretch of Greenway of Crabtree Creek Trail, looking west, at Lindsay Drive in Raleigh.

A central Greenway trail, Crabtree Creek Trail, recently received the final piece of funding needed to make the connection west to William B. Umstead State Park

It’s more than a stretch of pavement and bridges, though — it’s another step to better connecting the region with Greenway trails. 

Raleigh Convergence spoke with Lisa Schiffbauer, senior engineering supervisor for the City of Raleigh, to learn more about the project and its significance. 

Here’s what to know about the project:

Crabtree Creek Trail currently begins near Anderson Point Park, east of the Beltline and near the Neuse River. That’s also where the Crabtree Creek and Neuse River Greenways connect. 

From that direction, Crabtree Creek Trail goes west along its namesake stream, inside the Beltline and out, through East Raleigh, by neighborhoods, through near North Hills and Crabtree Valley Mall. 

It ends about 2 miles short of the state park and its trail systems at Lindsay Drive.

The Crabtree Creek Greenway Extension is the first Greenway project to receive funding from a 2018 Parks, Greenways, Recreation and Open Space bond from the Wake County Board of Commissioners, announced March 22

The Crabtree Creek West Trail will receive $2.8 million from the county. That supplements $7 million from the 2014 Raleigh parks bond and $1,540,000 federal transportation funding Locally Administer Project Program. 

In all, it’s about $10.5 million between design and construction, said Lisa Schiffbauer, senior engineering supervisor for the City of Raleigh. 

What the project includes: The project is 1.8 miles of asphalt-paved trail and five bridges, completing the Crabtree Creek Trail. After completion, the Crabtree Creek Trail will be 17 miles in total. 

A pedestrian bridge will connect Lindsay Drive and Picardy Drive, which will create a new connection between Oak Park and Laurel Hills neighborhoods. 

East of Duraleigh Road, there will be a large suspension bridge, approximately 300 feet, which better addresses the volatility of the water that can pass through Crabtree Creek. 

Three other bridges will cross Richland Creek before getting to Umstead. 

Construction is expected to begin late summer and be complete in August 2023. [map]

Crabtree Creek near the end of the Crabtree Creek Greenway Trail.

The context: The Capital Area Greenway System has 117 miles of paved trails. Created in the 1970s, it was designed to run along waterways or stream corridors throughout the county.

When the Crabtree Creek Trail is complete, it will connect to Umstead trails (including Reedy Creek Trail), Cary trails (including Black Creek Greenway), eventually reaching the American Tobacco Trail that goes to Durham.  

Mary Sell, interim executive director for Oaks & Spokes, a nonprofit focused on the community of people who ride bikes in Raleigh, said the group will plan a bike ride to celebrate the trail when it’s complete.

“The Crabtree West extension is a critical connection to bridge the extensive City of Raleigh greenway system into Umstead and beyond. Umstead is one of our region’s most treasured open spaces, and having a seamless way to connect by bike is a big step forward for our community.”

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Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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