Grading is expected to start next week on a new portion of the Yadkin River Greenway connecting existing sections at Memorial Park and the Yadkin River bridge between the Wilkesboros.

It will be almost seven-tenths of a mile long and cost about $400,000.

Nearly $300,000 was secured through grants and gifts. The N.C. Recreational Trails Program awarded the Town of North Wilkesboro $100,000, a figure matched by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources. Another $48,000 came from the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund, $25,000 from the National Park Service and $15,000 from Tyson Foods.

Several businesses donated easements for the new section to the Yadkin River Greenway Council.

North Wilkesboro Town Planner Sam Hinnant said construction should begin Oct. 15. Tri-County Paving and Mathis & Sons Grading are handling the first phase of construction.

The project includes the trail itself, signage, fencing, riparian (riverbank) buffers and landscaping, erosion control measures, and a single pedestrian bridge over a small stream near the southernmost Memorial Park ballfield.

Hinnant said he couldn’t predict a completion date. “The grading will be quick and easy. Then, we have storm water pipe and bank stabilization of two separate areas and foundation installation for the bridge. We are waiting on a timeframe for the bridge to be constructed and then brought to the site.”

He said the project meets goals in the town’s comprehensive plan, pedestrian plan and the forthcoming Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan. It has been a a major collaboration between the town and the YRG Council.

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