Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced the beginning of construction on the new greenway trail that will eventually run the entire length of the Innovation Quarter.
The first part of the project extends 1.2 miles from the north side of East Third Street in the Innovation Quarter to Research Parkway near Business 40, then southward to Rams Drive and East Salem Avenue. The contract for this first phase was awarded to Charles D. Lowder, Inc., of Winston-Salem.
“This publicly accessible greenway within the Innovation Quarter has been a long time in planning and design,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We are delighted that our community will soon have a new place to walk, run, bicycle and be active.”
Plans for this part of the project call for the widening of existing sidewalks along Rams Drive and Research Parkway as well as construction of new sidewalk from Salem Avenue at Rams Drive north to Technology Way.
Two of the more labor-intensive portions of this first phase will be adding a pedestrian bridge to the existing rail abutments over East Third Street and the construction of a pedestrian plaza and trail entrance at Fogle Street near Patterson Avenue. Lighting will also be added along the trail, as well as bike racks, benches and blue light emergency phone towers.
Construction on this first portion of the new greenway is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
In February, the City of Winston-Salem awarded a contract for construction of the north portion of the new greenway in the Innovation Quarter to Smith-Rowe LLC of Mount Airy. That portion of the greenway will run from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the north end of the Innovation Quarter to the East Third Street pedestrian bridge.
The greenway in the Innovation Quarter will eventually extend past Rams Drive south on Research Parkway and link up with the Salem Creek Greenway. That means users of the greenway will be able to complete a more than 20-mile loop from the north end of the Innovation Quarter and back by way of Salem Lake.