Construction is underway for an approximate 2-mile section of the East Roanoke River Greenway (VDOT UPC Nos. 113356 and 110155) that will be located south of the Roanoke River, run parallel to Highland Road, cross underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway and Roanoke River Parkway, and extend to Explore Park. Development of the two greenway projects are locally administered by Roanoke County with oversight from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The projects are financed by federal, state, and local funds from the Federal Lands Access Program, the Transportation Alternatives Program, and funding from Roanoke County. These projects are supported by the National Park Service-Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke Valley Resource Authority, the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority, and the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission.
The proposed greenway projects will provide connectivity to an existing 0.4-mile section of greenway (VDOT UPC 91191) completed by Roanoke County in September 2023, located west of the Blue Ridge Parkway and south of the Roanoke River at 3226 Highland Road. The proposed greenways will include an 8 to 10-foot-wide asphalt greenway, a small trailhead parking lot at the corner of Rutrough and Highland Roads, connection to the Back Creek Valley Overlook located on the Roanoke River Parkway, and connectivity to Explore Park. The greenways will traverse through two existing tunnels, the closed Roanoke Regional landfill, and includes retaining walls, signs, fencing, drainage improvements, and other appurtenances. A future 1.4-mile section of greenway through Explore Park that will terminate at Rutrough Point (UPC 113567) is planned for construction in 2024-2025.
Surveying, contractor mobilization, and tree clearing activities will occur in early December 2023. Construction is anticipated to be complete by December 2024. Roanoke County advises of potential traffic delays and lane closures along Highland Road, in the vicinity of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The contractor will attempt to minimize traffic disruptions to the extent practical; however, periodic closures will be required. Roanoke County has awarded the construction contract to Allegheny Construction Company, Inc., and construction management is being provided by McDonough Bolyard Peck (MBP). The design engineer for the project is Balzer and Associates, Inc.