Once finished late next year, the three-quarter-mile greenway will link University Place shops, the Blue Line Extension and hundreds of nearby residents to the extensive Mallard Creek-Clark’s Creek-Toby Creek network through University Research Park, UNC Charlotte and a dozen neighborhoods.
Opening in late 2019
Greenways planner Gwen Cook said that the project will take about one year to complete.
The greenway will wind between several apartment, townhome and patio home communities. Several neighborhoods will have direct access to the greenway via side trails.
University Place entrance already in place
The start of the greenway at University Place is already visible on JW Clay Boulevard near the northeast corner of the lake.
A boldly lit HAWK pedestrian traffic signal marks where the greenway will end. The crossing will link the greenway to lakeside sidewalks at University Place.
Light-rail riders will be able to reach the greenway easily, via a short walk from the JW Clay Boulevard light-rail station on North Tryon Street.
The greenway’s end at Mallard Creek Greenway is visible, as well. Look for the cut trees on the creek side of Mallard Creek Greenway, just north of the end of the Paradise Valley Par 3 golf course. A bridge will carry the greenway across the creek at that point.
A long time in coming
The county had hoped to build the greenway several years ago but encountered design challenges that took time and money to overcome.
Contracts for the project were issued this summer. General contractor J.D. Goodrum Inc. has extensive experience with park projects, including Romare Bearden Park in Center City and Fort Mill (SC) Gateway Park.
We recently received this photo of early construction from a resident of the Welwyn at University Place neighborhood, located beside the future greenway.
“The majestic deere in its natural habitat…,” he joked, referring to the John Deere tractor starting to clear the greenway’s path.
Short and steep
The biggest challenge is simply the elevation change – nearly 100 feet over a three-quarter mile distance. The land set aside for the greenway is also narrow in spots and rocky.
Cook said that the county was able to build the project after receiving additional state and regional funding.