GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Many people rushed to visit one of the most popular walking and biking trails in Greensboro on Thursday, the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway, using the last opportunity to cross one of the trestle bridges the trail has to offer before it closes on Friday, October 27.
The bridge will remain closed until it is replaced. It’s unknown how long it will take for that portion of the trail to reopen.
Many of the people visiting the trail said their usual routines on the greenway are now being impacted by the northernmost trestle bridge closing due to structure safety concerns.
With there being no paved detour route available, they now have to consider alternative trails.
“This has been an amazing trail. It’s not far from home. Very scenic, very beautiful for me. I love trails that, you know, you can also bike on,“ said Wale Adejumobi, a resident.
The northernmost trestle bridge on the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway is located between Strawberry Road and Bur-Mil Park.
The 300-foot bridge crosses Lake Brandt, and for many people, it’s a part of their daily runs and bike rides.
“A lot of people make a loop out of the hiking trails that requires this as access. So, you know, all the outdoor recreational enthusiasts around here are going to be anxiously awaiting the new bridge, hopefully soon,” said Kelly Griffith, a resident.
In late September, an engineering firm completed a structural assessment of the greenway’s two trestle bridges crossing Lake Brandt, as a part of a larger project to update that portion of the Greenway.
The northernmost bridge is now being closed until it can be completely replaced, due to safety concerns.
“The structural engineers assessed each part of the bridge, including the piles, which are the parts that go underwater and actually support the bridge, and the majority of those were not structurally sound,” said Elizabeth Jernigan, Greensboro Parks and Recreation senior planner.
The greenway sees thousands of visitors each month, with many utilizing the bridge.
The city is working to get funding for its replacement. Currently, it’s estimated it will cost $2.5 million. The Greensboro Urban Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking federal funding in the amount of $2 million, which will be combined with a $500,000 local match.
“But while it is a major inconvenience and we recognize that the Atlantic and Greenway Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway is a major connector between communities, the final product will be a bridge that is much wider, much better designed and much safer for our community,” said Jernigan.
The city estimates the design process for the new bridge could take a year, and if all goes according to plan they expect the bridge new bridge to be completed within 2 to 3 years. Until then that portion of the greenway trail will be closed, and trail-goers are encouraged to choose an alternative trailhead south of it using the free Piedmont Discovery mobile app.