ECENT grant funding will help complete the initial
design work for Wilmington’s Northside pedestrian and
bicycle trail in the abandoned Atlantic Coast Line (ACL)
railroad bed, known as the Rail Trail.
“The Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Orga-nization
awarded the City of Wilmington $680,000 from our
Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations
Act funding to complete the design for the Downtown Trail
Phase One, which includes the Rail Trail,” says Mike Kozlosky,
executive director of WMPO.
Engineering firm WSP was scheduled to complete the survey
work for the initial 2.2-mile trail by the end of March. This
phase connects 3rd Street to the Love Grove bridge. The recent
funds are for design work with construction funds to come later.
“The path could be anywhere from 8- to 12-feet wide depend-ing
upon the design, which has yet to be completed,” Kozlosky
The city has a rich railroad history, but there have not been
any passenger trains since 1968.
The difficulties and exciting possibilities are spelled out in the
2020 Rail Trail Master Plan. Enhanced walking paths, better
connections for bus transit, local art, area history preserved
and on display, handicapped access, and exercise stations are all
elements of the plan.
phase 1 phase 2 phase 3
Although still many years down the
road, an exciting third phase would
be to reintroduce passenger rail to
downtown, completing the multi-modal
Phase One constitutes land leveling,
storm drainage, and the construction
of the pedestrian walkway.
Phase Two will include protective
fencing, art installments, and will
require some safety development
with the N.C. Department of Trans-portation.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILMINGTON URBAN AREA METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION