Bridge span will match existing one

Published 7:07 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

There was a concern that the Park-to-Park bike and pedestrian trail bridge to be built over Jones Creek would be lower than the existing bridge, but that’s not the case, according to Isle of Wight Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson.

Questions continue to arise, as the bike trail — discussed in the abstract for more than a decade — becomes a reality with trees being felled, dirt overturned and heavy equipment in use along Battery Park and Nike Park roads. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

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The timber and steel bridge planned to be installed next to the one over Jones Creek and along Nike Park Road will be higher than the existing bridge that will be located next to it, said Robertson.

The bike and pedestrian bridge is 1,300 feet long and is generally two to five feet higher than the existing vehicular bridge, depending on location and tide, said Transportation Manager Jamie Oliver.  

“There is no point at which it is lower than the vehicular bridge,” she said. 

The Coast Guard has also signed off on the project, according to a 2015 letter provided by Isle of Wight Transportation Manager Jamie Oliver. 

The Coast Guard did provide a few criteria that must be met, such as the area not being closed to navigation during construction without prior notification, and that the Coast Guard be notified before construction begins so it can make its necessary notifications; and that the lowest part of the bridge should clear the 100-year flood height elevation, “if feasible.“

The Park-to-Park bike and pedestrian trail will run about four miles from Carrollton Nike Park to the intersection of Battery Park and S. Church Street in Smithfield. The overall cost of the project, including engineering, permitting and property acquisition is $8 million, with $6 million being the cost of construction, which is continuing. 

The final portion of the trail, to run from Battery Park Road and South Church Street to the Cypress Creek Bridge, is a town of Smithfield project. 

The Smithfield Town Council is currently considering if and when it will complete the project, which would provide a bike and pedestrian link between Carrollton Nike Park and Windsor Castle Park.   {/mprestriction}