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Sewer Project to Put Red Light on Greenways

Posted November 15, 2007

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— A $15 million project to replace aging sewer lines across Raleigh will close some of the city's favorite exercise spots over the next few years.

Crews will begin ripping up sections of the city's greenway system next spring to get to deteriorating sewer lines underneath, said Kenny Waldroup, a construction projects administrator in Raleigh's Department of Public Utilities.

"There's no doubt that there's going to be some greenways closures," Waldroup said.

The sewer lines were installed in low-lying, undeveloped areas in the 1950s, and the greenways were laid out over the same areas in the 1970s, he said. Replacing the sewer lines will require closing sections of the greenways for months at a time so the paths can be torn up and rebuilt.

Work will stretch from the Milburnie Road area along the bank of Crabtree Creek to Glenwood Avenue near Crabtree Valley Mall. The project will be done in four phases, moving east to west upstream, and is expected to last four to five years.

Businesses that have old sewer lines on their property will also be affected, Waldroup said.

Joggers and walkers that use the greenways daily said they will have to find new routes for their routines.

"There's not much mud. We like the scenery also," jogger Bob Jones said Thursday while exercising on the greenway. "I'll have to find somewhere else to run."

"I'm completely sympathetic, but it's important to the city to maintain basic city services, (and) sanitary services is one of those services," Waldroup said.

8 Comments

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  • Arcturus Nov 16, 2007

    The greenways run along the sewer lines for good reason: it was already city land for the sewers and these narrow strips of otherwise-useless land are scenic and go all over the place. Greenways are the perfect use for them. Unfortunately, this dual use of land means that greenways have to be closed for sewer repairs, but repairing the greenways afterwards probably isn't costing much at all. They have to re-level the ground anyway, and pouring asphalt to repave isn't expensive. I don't think this was short sighted, rather, it's a good multi-use of the land.

  • wyheel Nov 15, 2007

    The greenways exist along the creek because the land isn't good fro anything else.... it's flood plain. The sewers run along the creek for a reason too. Most likely if it weren't for the sewers, there would be no greenways there.
    Did you know there is a 700 foot long tunnel 45 feet down near Capital Blvd? (There's a lot of info online about this upgrade.)

  • Steve Crisp Nov 15, 2007

    The ignorance of those whe run our city is stunning.

  • Rolling Along Nov 15, 2007

    Better a green way than the Beltway LOL

  • whatelseisnew Nov 15, 2007

    Well count your blessings. At least the money is there to do the repairs. I don't know how long the greenways have been there, but if it has not been that long it seems like it would have been more cost efficient to redo the sewers first, and then do the greenways.

  • 3779LRRP Nov 15, 2007

    Most greenways are built on a "recycled" land area. An old railroad track removal is an excellent choice. I believe the "always battered" Durham did just that. Bad choice for Raleigh to build over an old sewer line that may need repair in the future.

  • Red Nov 15, 2007

    Would have loved to have known about this when the referendum came around earlier this year.

  • houdie1031 Nov 15, 2007

    Where is the long range planning in all of this? The relatively new greenway from Raleigh Blvd to Wake Forest just cannot stay available to the public because of things like this (plus a flooding rain). Is this going to be another waste of money? Tear it up and then fix it back? Help......