RALEIGH — On April 20, Secretary Gene Conti spoke at a ceremony celebrating the completion of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte.
The N.C. Department of Transportation provided about $4 million in federal funds to construct the greenway, which stretches from Central Piedmont Community College in uptown Charlotte to the Park Road Shopping Center in South Charlotte. Special features of the new greenway include fountains, park benches, an arched pedestrian bridge and public and private art.
Click here to view a Flickr gallery of photos from the ceremony.
Secretary Conti praised the project for providing Charlotteans with an accessible place to run, walk and bike, calling it an example for the rest of the state.
“This greenway will be a centerpiece of your uptown, but it is representative of much more,” Conti said. “It is a symbol of your commitment to your natural environment and to the health and well-being of your citizens.”
An additional major component of the project was the restoration of Little Sugar Creek, once one of the most polluted bodies of water in North Carolina.
For nearly 50 years, the section of Little Sugar Creek that parallels the greenway was hidden under a shopping center parking lot. The parking lot was removed in 2007, “daylighting” the long-neglected stream. The stream’s banks were stabilized and native plants were added, along with pollution-removing wetlands. Slowly, wildlife has returned to the creek.
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