MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) - The city of Morgantown has started construction on an 80 foot long pedestrian bridge on Decker's Creek Avenue that will connect the Greenmont and South Park neighborhoods to the rail trails.
"The majority of neighborhoods in Morgantown have access to a park or recreational opportunity; once the bridge is complete, it will give South Park and Greenmont that [same] opportunity," said the city's communications manager, Andrew Stacy.
Creating the bridge was a number one priority for the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board. Plan developments originally began in 2014. Once the steel and concrete structure is complete, residents who walk or bike will have access to over 80 percent of the city by trails.
"It's a chance for greater connectivity," said city manager Paul Brake.
Many locals have voiced their support for the project.
"I think it's going to be great for the neighborhood. I think opening [the neighborhood] up to the trail is going to be good for business. It's going to be nice having people just walking by and riding their bikes," said Tyler Wright, a Morgantown resident and owner of the Phoenix Bakery in South Park.
Officials are hopeful that the bridge will decrease vehicle traffic and that it's location on the rail trail will promote health & exercise.
"A walk-able community where you won't have to be so car-dependent," said Brake.
The project costs a little more than $450,000. $90,000 will be paid by the city and the remainder will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration's Transportation Alternatives Program.
Stacy also mentioned that the city is looking into update projects for the trails, but those won't happen until a later date and are still up in the air.
While the timeline is weather dependent the city would like to see the bridge ready by April.
"By early spring it should be functional, so we'll be very excited to welcome that to our community," said Brake.