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
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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