“Trails and greenways across North Carolina provide our residents and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy North Carolina’s beauty while improving their health and generating economic activity,” Governor McCrory said. “The Middle Fork Greenway will provide benefits to tourism, health and overall quality of life for High Country residents and visitors.”
The 90-foot bridge will span the Middle Fork of the South Fork New River. It is part of the 6.5-mile Middle Fork Greenway connecting Boone to Blowing Rock. The bridge will also help provide access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina’s cross-state Mountains to Sea Trail.
Greenways are an increasingly important part of the state’s transportation network. In 2015, Governor McCrory unveiled his 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina, which includes the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian networks as a statewide goal.
Designed to be made of laminate wood with a stone fascia, the bridge will meet standards set by the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway. Construction will begin once other funding is finalized for a 1.3-mile stretch of the greenway that includes the bridge. With landscaping enhancements already growing in the median along U.S. 321 by the parkway, the bridge will fit naturally into the setting and immediately become an iconic structure of the Middle Fork Greenway.
The governor thanked community leaders for their support in creating a lasting asset for the High Country, including the cities of Boone and Blowing Rock, Watauga County, non-profits such as the Blue Ridge Conservancy and High Country Pathways, as well as local businesses and individuals.
Photos: Office of the Governor