If town leaders follow recommendations of consultants overseeing Zebulon’s Greenway Master Plan, greenways are likely to pop up first in two locations on the north side of town.
The consultants presented a draft of the plan to the town board at a meeting July 22 and expect to have a finished product by the Sept. 7 board of commissioners meeting.
Of the 10 corridors in the proposed trail system, two stood out based on several factors, including access to nature, the possibility of immediate use, construction and easement costs and the potential for public/private partnerships.
Brian Starkey of OBS Landscape Architects said Corridor 1 and Corridor 3 carry out one of the major objectives of the plan – to connect primary destinations in town.
“Both of those corridors do that very well,” Starkey said. “There’s really not safe conditions to do that now or formalized ways to walk from one of those areas to the other. They’re also pretty cost-effective. Utilizing existing easements helps to minimize construction costs.”
Corridor 1 consists of 2.6 miles of greenway to connect the Taryn Meadows and Weaver’s Pond communities with Wakelon Elementary School and park.
Highlights of Corridor 1 are as follows:
- Provides a trail around Hendrick’s Pond.
- Runs along a proposed sewer easement to the east to connect to Pearces Road.
- Connection to bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Arendell Avenue.
- Crossing at Pippen Road.
- Some new easements would be required, others possibly needed.
The Corridor 3 plan calls for 1.1 miles of greenway connecting Zebulon Elementary School, Zebulon Community Library, the Eastern Regional Center, the Zebulon Boys & Girls Club and surrounding neighborhoods.
Corridor 3 highlights are as follows:
- Connects to Proctor Street bicycle and pedestrian improvements, completes connection to the Zebulon Boys & Girls Club.
- Crossing at intersection of Proctor Street and Shepard School Road.
- Connection made along existing sewer easement.
Starkey said another connector between the residential area downtown and the Zebulon Community Center, the site of the town’s Farm Fresh Market, is being considered.
In what Starkey said are “very general and conservative” figures, Corridor 1 is estimated to cost $1,908,756 Corridor 3 is estimated at $989,727. Those estimates are for a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail throughout the corridors and factor in permitting and design fees.
But the master plan is a flexible guide. Zebulon could opt to complete the corridors in phases and could choose cheaper options than asphalt, like gravel or a natural trail, or some mix of the surface types.
“It’s really more about the area of town, and the point is there could be several projects within an identified corridor,” Starkey said, noting that the town-wide greenway system could take 30 years to build out. “It’s a long-range vision.”
The consultants and town staff have already submitted for a Recreational Trails Program grant from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
Starkey said the requested $100,000 is currently intended to start Zebulon’s greenway system with a trail spanning from Spiderlilly Court in the Taryn Meadows community to Pippin Road – connecting the neighborhood to Wakelon Elementary, the park and Weaver’s Pond.