Plans approved for new greenway in Rockingham County

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- This week, Rockingham County Commissioners approved plans to move forward on a 20-plus mile greenway which would be built near Belews Lake.

County Commissioner Mark Richardson says the greenway will be eight to 10 feet wide and the longest greenway in Rockingham County.

Richardson says the goal is to attract major sporting events like cycling competitions.

Benji Jones hosts two annual triathlons at the Carolina Marina in Stokesdale.

He says the new greenway would probably allow him enough space to double the size of his events which usually draws approximately 325 to 350 triathletes.

"That will change everything because we'll be able to access and get access to longer courses,” said Jones, race director for Belews Lake International Triathlon. “Half Iron Man, Iron Man distances, longer distance races than what we are currently doing."

The project will cost at least $20 million and will be paid for using state funding, grants and private sponsorships, according to Richardson.

Commissioners are working with an architectural engineer to come up with a design for the greenway.

Construction could start within the next six months.

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