Bike trail sent out for bids

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The first two segments of the Nike Park Bike Trail — also known as the Park-to-Park Trail — are out for bid, with a review of submissions scheduled for July 20, according to Isle of Wight County Project Manager Jamie Oliver.

Once a bid is accepted, construction would begin within 60 days, Oliver said.

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The first two segments run along Battery Park and Nike Park roads, from South Church Street to Nike Park, and include a bridge across Jones Creek.

The combined construction cost estimate for the two segments, at four miles, is $4.58 million. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The town of Smithfield, meanwhile, is in the midst of studying three possible routes through town to connect the bike trail from the intersection of Battery Park Road and S. Church Street to the Cypress Creek Bridge, which would provide continuous bike and pedestrian access from Nike Park to Windsor Castle Park.

The study, being done by Kimley Horn, began in April and is expected to take about six months, according to Town Manager Peter Stephenson.

The three options include running the bike trail down S. Church Street or two variations down John Rolfe Drive or Grimes Street.

Some Town Council members were concerned about using up limited rights-of-way in front of businesses along South Church Street.

The trail being constructed by Isle of Wight is 10 feet wide, is handicap accessible and will be made of asphalt.

Last year, Smithfield had indicated that it would provide $1 million for its portion of the trail with VDOT urban funds that were left over from a South Church Street beautification project.

Funding for the entire project is a combination of Isle of Wight County and Smithfield monies, as well as VDOT transportation grants.

The trail has been is the planning stages since 2006 and has not been without controversy.

Proponents point out the trail would provide another attraction for the county and provide connectivity, while detractors cite the high cost of the project in light of other transportation needs, as well as questioning the actual frequency of use by Isle of Wight residents.

The trail also required the use of eminent domain to obtain rights-of-way along Nike Park and Battery Park roads.  {/mprestriction}