Progress moving forward on Yadkin River Park at Wil-Cox Bridge

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Workers are almost finished taking the long talked about Yadkin River Park from the drawing board to the riverside.

Chris Phelps is the executive director for the Tourism Recreation Investment Partnership or TRIP. Phelps was one of the first people behind the park.

"I think we got here a lot quicker than a lot of people anticipated," Phelps said. "It goes back to the partnerships."

A partnership between governments, citizens and corporations is making the park possible. Crews are mostly finished building a set of stairs that start at Wilcox Way and end at a river walk that runs next to the Yadkin River. On the river walk, you can see the exposed rock that is supporting the stairs. Along the path there are benches and views of the river. At the end of the river walk, there's a new handicap accessible area and canoe and kayak launch.

Back along Wilcox Way, workers are still doing brick and stone work. But Davidson County Parks and Recreation Director Thomas Marshburn said ongoing construction isn't stopping park visitors.

"With the pavers going in and the stairs going in and the sitting area at the bottom, near the river, people are getting excited and using it on the weekends even though it's still closed to the public," Marshburn said.

There's even lots of activity taking place along the hillside surrounding Yadkin River Park. Marshburn said teams are close to completing a two-mile hiking and biking trail that will take you to the top of Fort York. Fort York is a Civil War era site that protected the Confederate railroad. Along the path, Phelps points out the historical sites.

"The earthwork and the rifle pits and batteries are still up there," Phelps said.

Historical markers will be installed across the park. The signs will tell the story of the events and people that lived along the Yadkin River.

Phelps believes the new Yadkin River Park will be an attraction for outdoor enthusiast and history buffs. According to the state, in 2017 visitors spent over $165 million in Davidson County.

"Tourism is a huge deal for the county. We have High Rock Lake to the south of us, Daniel Boone Heritage Trail and this is the center of all of that," Phelps said.

Plus the new park could be a draw for businesses looking to relocate.

"They are going to find that Davidson County is supportive of not only their business but the quality of life of their employees as well," Phelps said.

Yadkin River Park should officially open in late spring or early summer. The park is located on Wilcox Way next to the historic Wil-Cox Bridge that connects Davidson and Rowan Counties.

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