After four months of debate, Raleigh City Council members Tuesday approved a bid for the Honeycutt Creek Greenway Project construction bid.
The bid for the Honeycutt Creek Greenway Project advertised the construction of a paved section of trail from Longstreet Drive to Durant Road, and an unpaved section of trail from Durant Road to Ravens Ridge Road.
Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and be completed by December 2013.
[media-credit name=”Image by City of Raleigh” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]The new greenway portion will be a little more than 5.6 miles, and connect the East Fork Mine Creek Trail to the South Shore Fall Lake Trail. It will also provide access to the Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park.
The original plan was to pave the path all the way to Falls Lake, but early in the design stage, staff in the Parks and Recreation Department discovered the 1.7 miles of the proposed greenway falls on property leased to the NC Wildlife Commission by the United States Army Corp.
The NC Wildlife Commission denied staff’s proposal to pave the intended path, but agreed to the construction of an unpaved path.
Council members had difficulty reaching a consensus on the proposal. The major issues came down to the proposed unpaved section of trail, and to points argued by Councilors Randall Stagner and Bonner Gaylord.
Stagner, who voted against the project, opposed staff’s recommendation to approve both the paved and unpaved sections of trails. He said the unpaved portion of the bid was a viable proposal, but believed it should be evaluated independently, alongside other greenway projects on the table, to ensure it doesn’t compete with similar projects.
For Stagner, it came down to a question of resources and priorities. He expressed concern about “funds taken away from the overall greenway path in order to fund an unpaved path leading to nowhere.”
Gaylord supported the staff’s recommendation for approval. He said the unpaved path will provide a connection to 60 miles of unpaved trails surrounding Falls Lake.
The Parks and Recreation department first introduced the Honeycutt Creek Greenway Project in 2008 to meet the requirements dictated by the 2003 and 2007 Parks and Greenway Bond Referendums, which allocated $4 million in funding to the design and construction of this portion of greenway.
Councilor Thomas Crowder also voted against the project.