NCDOT Funds $145,000 Grant for Bridge To Connect Middle Fork Greenway, Blue Ridge Parkway

Published Friday, August 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm
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Gov. Pat McCrory announces the $145,000 grant from the NCDOT to fund a bridge that connects the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Middle Fork Greenway. Sitting beside McCrory is Blue Ridge Conservancy’s Middle Fork Greenway Director Wendy Patoprsty.

Governor Pat McCrory joined state and local officials today to announce a $145,000 grant to help fund a key pedestrian bridge on the Middle Fork Greenway. The grant was funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Contingency Fund.

“Trails and greenways across North Carolina provide our residents and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy North Carolina’s beauty while improving their health and generating economic activity,” Governor McCrory said. “The Middle Fork Greenway will provide benefits to tourism, health and overall quality of life for High Country residents and visitors.”

The 90-foot bridge will span the Middle Fork of the South Fork New River. It is part of the 6.5-mile Middle Fork Greenway connecting Boone to Blowing Rock. The bridge will also help provide access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina’s cross-state Mountains to Sea Trail.

Greenways are an increasingly important part of the state’s transportation network. In 2015, Governor McCrory unveiled his 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina, which includes the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian networks as a statewide goal.

Designed to be made of laminate wood with a stone fascia, the bridge will meet standards set by the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway. Construction will begin once other funding is finalized for a 1.3-mile stretch of the greenway that includes the bridge. With landscaping enhancements already growing in the median along U.S. 321 by the parkway, the bridge will fit naturally into the setting and immediately become an iconic structure of the Middle Fork Greenway.

The governor thanked community leaders for their support in creating a lasting asset for the High Country, including the cities of Boone and Blowing Rock, Watauga County, non-profits such as the Blue Ridge Conservancy and High Country Pathways, as well as local businesses and individuals.

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Rendering of the bridge that the NCDOT will fund with the $145,000 grant.

The following photos are courtesy the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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The event was held on the Blowing Rock Chamber lawn. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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Blowing Rock Chamber Executive Director Charles Hardin kicks off the meeting talking about the vision of volunteers who have been working on the greenway for years. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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Blue Ridge Conservancy’s Middle Fork Greenway Director Wendy Patoprsty. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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McCrory. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory share a laugh. Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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McCrory stands around with at least Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Fogleman (far left) and new Boone Chamber President David Jackson (far right). Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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The Blowing Rock attraction owner Charlie Sellers talks with N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory – Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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Photo courtesy Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce/Christine Lindsay

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