Walkers, runners and bikers will soon be able to safely and conveniently travel from downtown Greenville to CU-ICAR via the Green Line of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.
The new trail is a cooperative city-county project, with the city responsible for building The Cleveland Connector (also know as the Paperclip), Laurens Road Bridge, Haywood Road Bridge, and Verdae Blvd Crossing. The county will pave the trail and continue to own and maintain this section of the Green Line.
City of Greenville senior mobility coordinator Calin Owens gave City Council a progress report on the five-mile addition to the Green Line during their November 14 formal meeting. The extension of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail (SRT) will run from Cleveland Park to CUICAR, along the north side of Laurens Road.
Owens offered the following updates:
- The switchbacks connecting the SRT to Cleveland Park are 40 percent complete. Called “the Paperclip” or “Cleveland Connector” section, crews have removed an abundance of earth and rock and are currently erecting the first of two retaining walls. The work is scheduled to be completed in February 2023.
- The pedestrian bridges over Laurens and Haywood Road are 87% complete. Crews will be working on walls, deck and curb pours, and then installing railing. The Haywood Bridge will open first in December, followed by the Laurens Bridge later this winter. The county plans to pave the trail in sections as the bridges are completed.
- The street-level crossing at Verdae Boulevard is 30% complete, and will include a bright green pedestrian walkway, new concrete ramps and pedestrian-controlled, push-button full stop traffic signals. It is scheduled for completion in December. Additionally, city staff are conducting a feasibility study to determine how best this crossing can be upgraded either to a bridge or underpass in the future.
- City staff also are exploring the addition of three neighborhood spurs that would connect to the Green Line, with the goal of going out to bid for the projects in the summer of 2023. Neighborhood residents in Nicholtown, Gower and Verdae will be involved in the planning process.
During the same meeting, City Council gave initial approval to an ordinance creating a formal agreement between the city, Verdae Development Inc. (VDI), and Hollingsworth Funds Inc. (HFI) for the construction of a trail connector and bridge between Legacy Park and the Green Line extension. VDI and HFI would fund the design and construction of the trail with input from the city. Upon completion the infrastructure would be dedicated to the City for maintenance and public use.
The 20+ mile trail is a regional recreational amenity, economic driver and multimodal transportation asset for the city and county.
Prepared by the City of Greenville.