Work has begun on Morrisville’s Crabtree-Hatcher Creek Greenway corridor, a 2.5-mile path connecting Lake Crabtree at Evans Road to Davis Drive.
Town Council members and other officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday afternoon, but Morrisville parks director Jerry Allen said grading and clearing work had already begun.
Allen said the trail, which is being built eastward from Davis Drive, will be complete by the end of 2018.
This is welcome news for Morrisville residents who would like to be able to safely get from one side of town to the other via bicycle – perhaps a quicker option at some times of day than making the same trip by car.
But it’s also a step forward for regional connectivity: The route will cross Morrisville east to west and ultimately connect the town’s paths to Cary’s greenway system on both ends. Cary has plans to eventually fill in a continuous route linking the route to the north-south American Tobacco Trail, a bike and pedestrian path that extends almost 23 miles from Durham down to New Hill.
Doug McRainey, Cary’s director of parks, recreation, and cultural resources, said completing all the pieces of that connection is expected to take another five to eight years.
“It’s more likely we’ll complete the White Oak Greenway first,” he said, referring to another east-west route that intersects the American Tobacco Trail farther to the south, near Apex.
Cary also recently broke ground on a new portion of greenway that picks up Morrisville’s route at Evans Road and continues it around Lake Crabtree and over Interstate 40 to Umstead Park’s trail network, which provides access to Raleigh. That greenway should be complete around the same time as Morrisville’s, Allen said.
First proposed in 2001, the Crabtree-Hatcher Creek path will cost Morrisville $3.44 million, about $1.1 million more than the town had budgeted. The town was able to make up about half of the difference by applying for more federal funding, but the rest was covered by additional town money.
Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan