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Cornelius News

Smithville to Washam greenway may be back on track

Feb. 27. By Dave Vieser. A project for which the town received a $2.4 million state grant in 2017 and appropriated $1.7 million in 2018 may yet be resuscitated after a multi-year delay. Known initially as the Smithville to Washam Greenway and Westmorland Multi-Use Path (MUP), the McDowell Creek East Greenway would create a 2.3 mile trail corridor through the center of Cornelius.

Town Parks Director Troy Fitzsimmons outlined the status of the project at the Town Board’s Feb. 19 meeting.

Troy Fitzsimmons


“First planning steps for this project got underway in the 2017-2018 time frame but were then frozen by NCDOT in 2019 due to state grant funding issues. In 2021, NCDOT advised that the Town could proceed again, but by that time the Town was working with Mecklenburg County on a partnership as there were insufficient funds to complete the project,” he said.

Fitzsimmons said that over the past two years, the Town and County worked together and now has the project in the county’s FY25 Capital Improvement Plan.

“We would really like to formally initiate the partnership and restart the project. Funds to complete the project would come through the County as well as the $1.71 million in 2013 town park bonds and capital funds.”

Kimley Horn was selected through a Request for Qualification process in 2018 to be the consultant for the project.

Town Board reaction

The commissioners seemed supportive of the revised project plans and advised Fitzsimmons to present the update to the town park/recreation board.

What’s next?

If the park board concurs with the plan, it will be presented to the Town Board for their formal approval in March.

If the project is approved, there will be plenty of work for the town and its consultant. Due to the time lapse, several NCDOT documents need to be updated and costs today are significantly higher now than they were in 2018. An additional $249,300 would be needed, funds which the town has available.