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Expanding Wake Greenways Costs $1 Million Per Mile

Wake County wants to expand and connect the greenways in the county
Ray Rivera
/
Flickr

The Wake County Parks Department wants to connect hundreds of miles of its greenway trails.

The department is considering a proposal to add more than 270 miles to its network of trails across the county.

Chris Snow is the Parks director for Wake County. He noted that while many people think of trails in terms of recreation, they are also vital for transportation within and between municipalities.

“So what we want to do is link the county so folks have alternative forms of transportation, whether it's to school or work or to the grocery store,” he said. “Even if it's just you and your kids peddling over to the local park, I mean, it's a safe way to get there rather than having to ride on the road.”

The proposal could cost more than $1 million per mile and will require the support of the county commissioners, as well as funding from additional sources.

Snow said he recognized the size of the request of county taxpayers.

“Now that's a lot of greenway. The average cost of greenway right now is somewhere between a million and two million dollars a mile. So it could be a very expensive plan,” he said. “But we're hoping to leverage county dollars with municipal dollars with state and federal dollars to get the biggest bang for our buck”

Snow said the plan could take 10 to 15 years or more to realize. The Wake County Parks department will begin by meeting with leaders from municipalities to identify potential trail connections.

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC health reporter, a beat he took in 2020. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016.
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