Raleigh, N.C. — Construction of a 7-foot pedestrian bridge that criss-crosses over the Neuse River along one of Raleigh's newest greenways is nearly complete. It's one of the finishing touches for the Neuse River Trail, which is set to officially open April 25.
The trail is the reason Josh Smith took up cycling.
"It's really pretty out here," he said Wednesday. "I got the bike pretty much for this trail because it keeps going on and on and I really want to see what it's all about."
The greenway runs for about 28 miles, following the Neuse River from the Falls Dam in northern Wake County to the Johnston County line.
"This trail is significant achievement for the City of Raleigh, and I'm glad it's almost (open)," said Vic Lebsock, a senior greenway planner.
The 270-foot suspension bridge, just northeast of Raleigh's Hedingham neighborhood, is one of two along the trail.
"It's beautiful," said Iona Thomas, project manager for the greenway. "Our traditional truss bridges for this length were much more expensive. With this design, because the members of the bridge were smaller, easier to manipulate and easier to erect, we ended up saving the city $1.2 million."
For Smith, the beauty of the trail is priceless.
"It changed my mode of exercise," he said. "(Cycling is) opening up a whole new source of avenues for me in terms of seeing Raleigh."