Roanoke Parks and Recreation, along with Roanoke Valley Greenways Commission, is hosting a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of a new section of Roanoke River Greenway. The ceremony is planned for Friday, July 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bridge Street Trailhead parking lot (592 Bridge Street SW).
The new 1-mile stretch starts at the Norfolk Southern Materials Yard, crossing the Roanoke River via a 270-foot pedestrian bridge, the longest bridge in the greenway network. The section then continues along the river to the Bridge Street Trailhead. In total, this contiguous stretch of Roanoke River Greenway is now just over 12 miles, running from the Cook Avenue Trailhead in the City of Salem to the Bennington Trailhead in Southeast Roanoke.
This new section is highly anticipated and its completion marks the fulfillment of the “Bridge the Gap” section within the City of Roanoke. Beginning in 2012, The Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission began the “Bridge the Gap” campaign to secure funding to link Rotary Park in Salem and Bridge Street in Roanoke. Numerous private donors contributed over $2 million to the campaign, making this section of Greenway a reality.
“This segment has been long awaited, and it’s very satisfying to see the final product after years of effort. Our local greenways are a critical part of the infrastructure of the City, providing access, connection, recreational opportunities, and strengthened communities,” said Renee Powers, Trails and Greenways Coordinator for Roanoke Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to continuing the work of building the greenway network here in Roanoke.”
Up next for the Roanoke River Greenway within the City of Roanoke is a short section connecting Bennington Trailhead to Underhill Avenue in Southeast. This currently exists as an on-road connection, but the section has been under design and is waiting for full funding. When completed, the Roanoke River Greenway within the City of Roanoke will be fully built, stretching from Barnhardt Creek Bridge at the Salem line to Underhill Avenue at the Roanoke County line.
Attendees of the ribbon cutting are encouraged to park at nearby Norwich Park, with shuttles available starting at 9:30 a.m. or to travel along the greenway to join the ceremony, with parking available at Wasena Park near the ball fields. The Bridge Street Trailhead parking lot will be closed for all except ADA parking and official vehicles.