FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIRST SEGMENT OF THE ROCKY GAP GREENWAY PROJECT READY TO GO OUT TO BID FOR CONSTRUCTION
JULY 26, 2016
(Rocky Gap, Virginia) – The first segment of the Rocky Gap Greenway Project is ready to go out to bid for construction.
This segment of the project is approximately 2,500 feet of sidewalk along North Scenic Hwy. The project will start at the school and traverse towards Woody’s store. This segment is being funded by grants from the Virginia Department of Transportation Safe Routes to Schools program and from the Wythe-Bland Foundation. According to Board Chairman Karen Hodock, “it is exciting to see construction about to start on the Greenway. This project relies on grant funding from various agencies and we are pleased to see so many agencies come together to make this project a reality.”
The Rocky Gap Greenway project started in 2012 as a community revitalization and wellness effort. Thanks to the financial support of the Wythe-Bland Foundation, a planning study was completed in September 2013. As part of that study, residents traveled to Luray, Virginia to tour an existing greenway and held multiple planning workshops afterwards. Those workshops led to the development of various phases of the project and each phase or segment was developed based on the ability to acquire grant funding for development.
In 2013, a VDOT Safe Routes to Schools Planning team visited Rocky Gap and worked with residents to develop an application for the project. As a result Bland County was awarded $249,431 of grant funding from VDOT and an additional $47,000 from the Wythe-Bland Foundation for the project.
“As a community, we are enthusiastic to see the Greenway get under construction,” states Sharon Puckett, with the Rocky Gap Ruritan Beautification Committee. “While this is only the first segment of the project, it is exciting to see the project move from concept, to planning, and now to construction.”
The next segment of the project, which is to link the trail to the Veterans’ Memorial via the Phoenix Bridge crossing Wolf Creek, is already in the planning process. The Department of Environmental Quality has provided for the engineering study of the bridge and the evaluation of any environmental or structural repairs that are needed. Recently the county was notified by VDOT that federal funding would be available for the project as part of the Transportation Alternatives Program for FY17. These funds will be earmarked for rehabilitation of the bridge, trail construction, and parking at the Veterans’ Memorial. To date, only $500 of Bland County funds have been spent on this project.
CHA Consulting out of Blacksburg is the consultant for the project. Once this segment goes through the bidding process and award of construction is completed, it is anticipated that construction will begin immediately with the project being completed this year.
Eric R. Workman, Ed. D., County Administrator County of Bland
Phone: (276) 688-4622
Fax: (276) 688-9758