By Nathan Ham
Construction crews installed the first of two bridges on the Middle Fork Greenway in between Boone and Blowing Rock this week with the next one beginning installation next week.
The first bridge measured in at 88 feet and weighed approximately 43,000 pounds. The bridge that will be put in place next week is even larger at 113 feet long, according to Wendy Patoprsty, the Director of the Middle Fork Greenway. The bridge crosses the New River near Goldmine Branch Park.
The work building the Middle Fork Greenway is done through a partnership between the Blue Ridge Conservancy, Watauga County, Town of Boone and Town of Blowing Rock, as well as numerous donations from local individuals. The third annual “Round Up For the Greenway” raised over $150,000 for the Middle Fork Greenway in July.
“It’s really been a community-driven section of the trail. It’s going to extend to Boone and Blowing Rock someday and we are working on the connections to Tweetsie. There are six sections of the Greenway, this is phase one of section four, so lots of different phases, lots of permits, lots of engineering and lots of funding. It’s literally from the ground up that has helped make this happen for the Blue Ridge Conservancy and Watauga County,” Patoprsty said.
There are naming opportunities available for these bridges and many other parts of the Middle Fork Greenway project. Anyone interested in these opportunities can reach out to Wendy through email at [email protected].