New pedestrian bridge installed in southside area of High Point

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The piece of land tucked behind the Southside Recreation Center and Fairview Elementary School in High Point wasn't always empty.

“It sat there for a very long time. [It was] just sitting there to the point that people didn't know it was there almost,” said Michael McNair, director of Community and Housing.

“If you were out in the park and you looked you just see a lot of trees. You don't really know what's on the other side,” McNair said.

However, for the past few months the city has been working with the community in the south side of town on bridging that gap.

“You got an area that's probably 90-100 feet wide that goes to Vail to Taylor [Avenue]. So, saw an opportunity,” McNair said.

Recently, the city installed a new pedestrian bridge there. It used grant money from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to pay for it.

“Southside is really a park as well as a recreation center. We have outdoor basketball courts. We have a nice playground there and a water park in that particular area and we do have a lot of pedestrian traffic. So, anytime we have the opportunity to provide a safe route to our parks to our recreation centers and make High Point a little bit more walkable we jump on that,” said Lee Tillery, Parks and Recreation director.

While the city sees this as another step in revitalizing this part of town, they also see this as a way to make it safer.

“We'll have lighting. We are going to try to improve the visibility so you can see across,” McNair said.

The city and the community still working on what will happen with the empty lot the bridge connects to.

The new bridge will be open later this week.