Public Weighs In On Rail Trail Pedestrian Bridge Project

CHARLOTTE, NC – A major project to connect Uptown and Charlotte taking a step forward on Thursday night. The public was able to weigh in on a rail trail bridge project.

Currently, the rail trail ends on Morehead Street in South End. Pedestrians and cyclists would still have to make their way to College Street and share the road with cars to get to Uptown.

“You have a lot of cars and it’s not very nice,” said John Lee of South End, “it’s kind of out of your way to get downtown.”

He says he uses the rail trail every day.

“I walk on it. I run on it. I ride my bike on it. So I see it from a couple different perspectives,” said Lee.

He says a dedicated pedestrian bridge is long overdue.

“This is something we needed 10 years ago,” said Lee.

The city has secured $11 million dollars to build the rail trail connection.

“People have asked for this over and over again and we were able to be able to do this and find funding for it,” said Dan Leaver, the program manager with the City of Charlotte.

He says they’re looking at two options with varying widths and designs.

“Both will provide a beautiful bridge and a great landmark for folks in the future,” said Leaver.

“Yes, we need to do this,?” said Debra Franklin.

She was one of dozens of people at an information session held in South End on Thursday night.

She says she’s encouraged by the idea and is eager to see work begin.

“I think that would cut down on a lot of traffic. I think that would bring more businesses downtown and the South End area,” said Lee.

The project is in the early design phase. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2021. City officials tell me they hope to have it complete and open by 2023.