The Park Avenue Multi-Use Path grows the city’s overall trail system to over 20 miles, with more to come.
Lace up your walking shoes, it’s time to hit the trails now that the City of Wilmington has officially completed the Park Avenue Multi-Use Path. The city and the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 25 to celebrate the completion of the second phase of the multi-use path.
This phase adds an extra half-mile to the city’s expanding trail system. Construction began last summer and included significant drainage upgrades as well as crosswalks at Audubon Boulevard, 42nd Street, 43rd Street, and 44th Street.
The first phase of the Park Avenue trail — which was completed in 2019 — begins at Empie Park and extends east to Audubon Boulevard. The second phase picks up at Audubon and continues to Kerr Avenue where it connects to the city’s existing sidewalk system.
As a whole, the Park Avenue trail is part of the much larger River-to-Sea Bikeway, which runs from downtown Wilmington all the way to the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge. Additionally, the trail connects with the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail at Empie Park.
The completion of the Park Avenue trail grows the city’s overall trail system to over 20 miles, with more to come thanks to other pedestrian and bike-friendly projects that were part of the 2014 voter-approved Transportation Bond.
Below is a snapshot of where some of those projects currently stand.
Greenville Loop Trail
This 4.3 mile trail is being fast-tracked and has been broken into three phases. The design of the first phase (the south end) of the project is now in right-of-way acquisition. The City plans to start construction on this phase (from College Road up to the Holly Tree Road/Pine Grove Drive intersection) in the Fall with work on the north and central portions anticipated to begin in late 2022, pending the completion of design and right-of-way acquisition. An adjacent project will get underway mid-year — a bike/pedestrian crossing of College Road at Holly Tree that will connect the Greenville Loop Trail to the existing Central College Trail
Masonboro Loop Trail
The City is finalizing right-of-way acquisition on this 1.4 mile trail with construction anticipated to begin this Fall.
Kerr Avenue Trail
The design of this .7 mile trail is well underway and coordination with NCDOT and Duke Energy/Progress has begun.
Wrightsville Ave sidewalks
Completed through the city’s annual needs contract, filled a 630-foot sidewalk gap on the north side of Wrightsville between Castle Street and Independence Boulevard.
On the eastern portion of Wrightsville Avenue (from Independence Boulevard to Hawthorne Drive), design is nearing completion and the city has begun right-of-way acquisition while completing permitting with the relevant state agencies. This project will be completed in conjunction with a roundabout at the Wrightsville Avenue/Wallace Avenue intersection.
Oleander Drive sidewalks
The section between Wooster Street and Mimosa Place has been bid and, following contract approval by City Council, is anticipated to begin construction in April 2022. Design is nearly complete on the section between Hawthorne Road and 42nd Street and right-of-way acquisition is currently in progress. Pending completion of right-of-way acquisition, the City expects construction to begin late this summer.
South 17th Street sidewalks
The design of the sidewalk is complete and property acquisition is currently underway. Upon completion of right-of-way acquisition, the City will bid and award the project for construction, anticipated to begin this Summer.
The design is nearly complete with right-of-way mapping in progress. In order to reduce cost and minimize disruption, the City is coordinating with the NCDOT to complete the paving of these corridors in conjunction with the streetscape project.