Mecklenburg County on Tuesday took another step toward finishing an expansive greenway that will connect parks and trails in Charlotte to the South Carolina border.
Commissioners unanimously approved giving a $4 million contract to Charlotte-based construction firm Onsite Development to add less than a mile of new trail to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.
The company was the only contractor to submit a bid on the project, said Karen Weston-Chien with the county’s asset and facility management division. The trail addition will start at Tyvola Road and continue into Huntingtowne Farms Park, near the Quail Hollow neighborhood in south Charlotte.
A $3 million N.C. Department of Transportation grant is funding part of the project, with the county paying over $900,000 to cover the rest. Officials expect construction to start next year and finish by early 2017, Weston-Chien said.
It’s the first of the last 5 miles of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway that will connect to Interstate 485, run through Pineville and touch the state line in Lancaster County, S.C., she said
Officials expect the full greenway to debut in 2018, when it will become part of a 26-mile stretch of trails that start at the Toby Creek Greenway at UNC Charlotte and go south.
Jim Garges, county park and recreation director, called the finished greenway the “spine” of the regional Carolina Thread Trail that will span 15 counties.
Its completion also jibes with the county’s park and recreation master plan, which calls for adding 50 new miles of greenway in the county by 2020.
“That’s the number one thing people are asking for: Build more greenways, build them sooner, get them open,” Garges said.