Footbrigde pushed to February

By Anthony Gonzalez

November 4, 2013

Construction of an 80-foot pedestrian footbridge originally targeted for delivery this November has been pushed to February.

Elkin’s Board of Commissioners unanimously threw support behind EVTA efforts and are overseeing construction. The bridge will be located approximately 200-feet above the Shoe Factory Dam as part of the E & A Rail Trail.

“EVTA found that it was cheaper to purchase an extra 60-feet of bridge (two thirty foot sections) that would extend past the creek bank,” said Adam McComb of the town of Elkin. “This reduces the need for fill dirt and concrete needed to build the necessary grade to have the bridge placed out of the floodway.”

According to McComb, the drawings for the bridge have been approved and the manufacturer will schedule building of the bridge.

“We anticipate the bridge being completed and delivered by the end of February,” said Adam McComb, director of Elkin Parks and Recreation.

According to the EVTA, the footbridge is needed for a multi-use trail system that will connect downtown Elkin to Wilkes County and eventually to Stone Mountain State Park. The first segment of the trail runs adjacent to the old railroad bed of the decommissioned Elkin & Alleghany railroad and will be called the E & A Rail Trail.

“The changes help keep costs down. We’re doing a ton of work on the trails. The trail was once narrow, just three feet wide. Over 2.5 miles of the trail should be done by February,” said Dr. Bill Blackley, chairman of EVTA.

The cost of the Elkin pedestrian bridge is $45,861.47, a sum paid by EVTA. The bridge will be located approximately 200-feet above the Shoe Factory Dam.

According to McComb, there are no added costs to the changes.

EVTA is on the agenda of Elkin’s Board of Commissioner meeting to be held tonight. According to Blackley, representatives from EVTA will officially update commissioners on the footbridge and other EVTA developments.

Formed two years ago, the EVTA is an organization promoting economic development and quality of life through recreation and creation of a trail system in Wilkes and Surry counties.

Organizers say Elkin is the perfect “trail town,” a community through which the town supports hikers with services, and promotes the trail to its citizens and embraces the trail as a resource to be protected and celebrated.

Trail towns are mostly designed to improve access and information to get members of the community active in the outdoors and boost the economic benefits by providing recognition to local businesses who help offset costs associated with the trail construction and its maintenance.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com