EB-5547A and EB-5547B
This project is identified in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) as two projects, EB-5547A and EB-5547B. The project was previously known as the Riverwalk Greenway. The location and scope of the project changed due to the inability to secure easements and being unable to meet NC Department of Transportation's hydraulic design criteria.
The purpose of the project is to improve east to west connectivity and safety for people traveling by bike or by foot. When the project is complete, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to travel from E. Cotton Avenue/Village Parkway to Veteran's Park with continuous sidewalk as well as bicycle improvements. The completed corridor will be nearly two miles long.
The project includes three distinct sections. In total, the three sections represent more than 3 million dollars in bike and pedestrian improvements.
Section 1: From Flat Creek Greenway to the intersection of Sutton Avenue and Broadway Street. This section is funded with only local dollars. The estimated budget is $175,000.
This will include a new sidewalk on Charlotte Street. This will provide a complete pedestrian network. The sidewalk is currently being designed and construction is expected to be completed before June 30, 2023.
Sharrows will be painted along Ridgeway Avenue, First Street, Midland Avenue, Richardson Boulevard, and Sutton Avenue. The Town expects these will be installed before June 30, 2023. The second improvement to this section will be included in next year's budget request. It includes improvements to the intersection of Midland Avenue and E. State Street.
Section 2: From the intersection of Sutton Avenue and Broadway St/NC-9 Hwy. The estimated budget is $1,850,000.
This section includes 80% federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration passed through the NC Department of Transportation and allocated by the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
This section includes significant improvements to the intersection, bike lanes on NC-9 Hwy to Vance Avenue and Black Mountain Avenue. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.
Section 3: From Black Mountain Avenue to In-The-Oaks Trail. the estimated budget is $1,782,000.
This section also includes 80% federal funding as described in section 2.
Moving west, the project will utilize existing sidewalks, minor sidewalk connections, sharrows on Terry Estate Drive, and a separated path at the westernmost section where it will connect to the existing In-the-Oaks Trail. Construction is anticipated in 2024 or 2025, largely depending on how long the NCDOT administrative process takes to complete.
Project History Summary
This summary is only of the major events in the lengthy history of this project.
Riverwalk Greenway is identified in the Greenway Master Plan
Hdyro study for NCDOT culverts denied by NCDOT for use
MPO funds preliminary design for alignment feasibility
Town creates capital project fund
Preliminary design occurs for 18 months
Town requests MPO funding for project funding
12 months are devoted to the rail crossing study
Project is paused for six months between planning directors
Project end points extended to include Hampton Inn and In-the-Oaks to go along the river
MPO awards additional funding
Town signs contract with MBI. NCDOT review takes a few months.
Property owners reject river alignment. New alignment is developed.
Preliminary engineering begins
Town accepts financial support from Buncombe County
Town applies for additional funding from MPO
Preliminary engineering continues
30% plan submitted to NCDOT
Project fails NCDOT Hydro requirements in August
Alignment consideration continues through July
Town Council votes to split the project. The STIP is amended to create EB-5547A and EB5547B
Contract with MBI amended becomes section B
End points for section A determined (Sutton Avenue/NC-9 Hwy to Black Mountain Avenue)
Town approves new contract with MBI for A and B
Updating PE/ROW/Construction budget for STIP amendment begins in January and continues to the fall