City officials – with some help from a local runner – cut the ribbon on the newest portion of the City of Bridgeport’s walking trail.
“We’re here to celebrate the opening of the Virginia Avenue Trail Connector,” said Mayor Andy Lang. “This new trail has been in the works for approximately eight years and is finally complete.”
Lang thanked the city’s engineering, public utilities, and parks and recreation departments for the work done to complete the project. He also thanked the state of West Virginia, which awarded a grant for the trail extension.
“This project connects City Park, along with the Civic Center, as well as Hinkle and Deegan Lakes Park,” Lang said. “It allows our citizens to utilize our sidewalks and trails to walk, bike, and have a good time at our different parks in town.”
The long-term goal is to connect all recreational facets of the city, and the next phase is already in the works.
“The engineering department has applied for and received a grant to do a connector somewhere in the Compton Park area over to The Bridge/Citynet Center,” Lang said. “It was in the Charles Pointe master plan to have a trail system, and this is one segment of that.”
The grant allows for design work and construction. Once that work is in motion, the city can apply for another grant to complete the project. The projected timeline for completion is two to three years. Right-of-way acquisition should be smoother than it did for the Virginia Avenue connector, as in the case of the latter, multiple property owners were involved, and it runs along a state highway.
Read more about the Virginia Avenue Trail Connector HERE. See video of the ribbon cutting HERE and additional photos of the city walking trail HERE.
Editor’s Note: Pictured left to right are City Councilman Don Burton, City Councilman John Wilson, Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Coordinator Amy Callahan, City Manager Brian Newton, Mayor Andy Lang, City Councilman Jon Griffith, City Recorder Roger Murray, Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth, Doug Marquette of the Bridgeport Business Retention Committee, and City Councilman Jeff Smell. Pictured on the cover and featured in the video is Nathaniel “Looch” Lutyens.