Eastern Wake News

Council looks to extend Mingo Creek Trail to Knightdale Station Park

Rob and Lori Correa take their dog Fez on a walk on the Mingo Creek Greenway Trail.
Rob and Lori Correa take their dog Fez on a walk on the Mingo Creek Greenway Trail. mhankerson@newsobserver.com

The town of Knightdale hopes to extend the Mingo Creek Greenway Trail more than a mile from Mingo Creek Park to Knightdale Station Park with help from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO.

The Town Council voted 3-0 at its Wednesday, Oct. 19, meeting to submit the project to CAMPO in the hopes of receiving a grant to cover 80 percent of the cost of the extension, other than $100,000 the town already allocated for design in this fiscal year’s budget. Council members Mike Chalk and Randy Young were absent.

The Locally Administered Projects Program, or LAPP, grant allocates federal funds for projects such as surface transportation or congestion mitigation for air quality. “It’s CAMPO’s way of prioritizing and programming their federal allocation that they get,” said senior planner Jason Brown, who has been in contact with CAMPO about the grant.

The grant would cover $372,000 for right-of-way purchasing, with the town matching $74,400, and $2,200,000 for construction, with the town matching $440,000. “We have heavily invested in this greenway,” council member Dustin Tripp said. “I think it’s a worthwhile investment that we’ve put forth. ... We’re leveraging our money appropriately. So we’re doing a $2.6 million project for $500,000.”

Brown said the Wake County Greenway Plan, which is in draft form now and is to go before the Wake County commissioners for adoption possibly in January, identified the Mingo Creek extension as a high priority that would fill in a gap in the greenway system. He said the town considered a few other pedestrian projects for submission but the connectivity the Mingo Creek project would provide put it at the top of the list.

“One of the things the town committed to in building the first segment of the Mingo Creek Trail,” Brown said, “was continuing to connect to the other eastern Wake communities, and this is actually the next leg before you get to the next section, which would be to connect Knightdale Station Park to Lake Myra Park in Wendell. ... This would be getting that much further to that commitment to get it back to the other eastern Wake communities.”

Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson spoke in favor of the project at the meeting, noting the countywide vision of a system that could eventually connect Knightdale all the way to Duham via greenway trails. “This is an amazing vision, mayor, for you and the councilors. I love this using transportation money, LAPP funding, to be able to connect.”

Council member Mark Swan said he hoped the extension would reduce the number of cars needing to park at Knightdale Station Park for the July 4th celebration and other big events at the park.

Brown said that if CAMPO approves the town’s application, the project would probably be included in Knightdale’s Capital Improvements Plan for next fiscal year, 2017-18. The 10-foot wide asphalt trail would be extended about 6,700 feet to reach the park.

Matt Goad: 919-829-4826