University City’s extensive greenway network will soon grow larger. Work should start this spring on extending Toby Creek Greenway from UNC Charlotte to the Autumnwood neighborhood. Work should start by summer on the new Barton Creek Greenway between University Place and Mallard Creek Greenway. Both additions should open by mid-2016, says Mecklenburg greenways planner Gwen Cook.
“Toby Creek Greenway, Phase 2, has been cleared for bidding by NCDOT (Department of Transportation),” Cook wrote in an email to University City Partners last week. “We are moving forward with that project and plan to begin construction as soon as possible this spring. We hope for a spring/summer 2016 opening.”
As for Barton Creek Greenway, “We are ready to finalize the design for the Barton Creek Greenway, which we hope to complete this spring,” Cook wrote. “Bidding and construction will follow later this year. We plan to have it open by spring 2016.”
Toby Creek Greenway
Toby Creek Greenway currently starts at Mallard Creek Greenway near North Tryon Street and runs 1.6 miles through the UNC Charlotte campus to the greenway’s end at University City Boulevard at East WT Harris Boulevard. Phase 2 will extend the existing Toby Creek Greenway by another mile west.
This new section of greenway will parallel University City Blvd under Harris Blvd as an overland connector. The greenway will then traverse under Chancellor Park Drive and along Toby Creek through a variety of vegetated areas, wildlife, steep terrain and rock formations at the creek banks. The South Newell Neighborhood Improvements Project will provide a wide sidewalk to serve as a multi-use trail connector to Autumnwood Lane.
Toby Creek Greenway is expected to become a key part of the 26-mile Cross-Charlotte Trail linking University City to uptown and south Charlotte (SEE RELATED STORY) and the extensive Carolina Thread Trail system throughout the 15-county Charlotte region.
Barton Creek Greenway
Barton Creek Greenway will provide an important link between J.W. Clay Boulevard in University Place and Mallard Creek Greenway. The new greenway measures about 0.6 mile but will link several hundred apartments and condos to 9 miles of existing greenways and side trails running through UNC Charlotte, University Research Park and several neighborhoods.
A connector sidewalk along J.W. Clay Boulevard will also provide easy access to Barton Creek Greenway from the future LYNX Blue Line Extension station at Clay and North Tryon Street, and the Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte.
University City visitors and nearby businesses will benefit, too, since a dozen hotels and numerous shops, offices and CMC University will be within a short walk or bike ride of the new greenway.