ATT

First Annual Ales for Rail-Trails 5K

North Carolina Rail-Trails, perhaps our closest sister organization, will be holding their first annual 5K race in downtown Durham on October 9th. The race starts at the Fullsteam Brewery at 4pm and will include a short section on the American Tobacco Trail. Race proceeds will benefit the advocacy and rail-trail development efforts of North Carolina Rail-Trails. Registration can be through Active.com or by check.

10/11: Race results are now posted on the NCRT site and pictures will be posted soon.
10/19: Initial pictures now posted on NCRT's Facebook Page.

Durham Plans to Push Forward on Bridge for American Tobacco Trail

Durham has received and reviewed the bids for completing the ATT in Durham County. The lowest bid totaled some $7.7 million, ~2million more than costs estimated and funding available for the project. The City Manager and top staff are examining options to allow the bridge over I-40 and trail sections connecting the bridge to be contracted for soon with the balance to be done in a later phase starting in 2012. Additional funding from Durham may be obtained from dollars currently budgeted for sidewalks and greenways. Other funding from non-highway projects requested by the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO will also be explored. Coordination of such arrangements with NC DOT will be needed as well as approval by the City Council. An award date for the contract has not been estimated but could occur by October.
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Since August 6th, NC DOT has decided that Durham must rebid the project. We understand that the construction drawings will have to be broken out into two documents (for each phase), and each will have to be approved by NCDOT again before bidding can start. Tentatively one phase/project will be the bridge itself as well as the trail from NC54 to Renaissance (the approaches), and the other phase/project would be the rest of the trail. This breakout is tentative and may change as the construction drawings are revised. For more on these more recent events please see this August 10th Herald-Sun article http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/15002546/article-DOT-to-city--T... and a short piece from the the N & O's Bullseye Blog http://blogs.newsobserver.com/bullseye/tobacco-trail-bridge-delayed-again-0. Further status info can be found on the City's page on the American Tobacco Trail Project http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/works/project_am_tob_trail.cfm
In late August, Durham City staff announced pending efforts to shift ~$3.8 Million from four Durham sidewalk projects to the Phase E project for the ATT. This shift must be approved by the Durham-Chapel Hill/Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization as well as by Durham's City Council. Further detail on this proposal can be found in a http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story_news_durham/15206013/article-Ci... August 22 article in the Herald-Sun. On August 28th a member of a key advisory board says Durham officials need to look harder at why the bids for an extension of the American Tobacco Trail came in about 38 percent higher than expected. The $2.1 million overrun ..."indicates the possibility of a serious error in judgment" by the engineers who designed the project and the city staffers who worked with them, said Toby Berla, a member of the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission.

Tobacco Road Marathon Needs Volunteers

The second Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon will be held on the ATT on Sunday March 20th. Again this year, TRTC will be a benificiary of race proceeds. This is a large event and volunteers are needed on race day and on the 18th and 19th. Several of us from TRTC will be helping out on race day. There are volunteer opportunities for individuals and for groups. If you are interested in volunteering, please click on the Volunteer tab for details.

Lawson Street Connector is Now Open

We were busy last week. Cole Concrete took advantage of the nice weather and completed the grading, concrete pouring and bollard installation. This 115' walkway is just north of Mile 1 on the ATT and now provides a smooth connection to Lawson Street and the NCCU area for walkers, cyclists and wheelchairs. Local residents started using it immediatly and see it as an asset to their community. At our May 1st workday we prepared the side areas for grass and gave the sturdy 6" bollards an initial coat of paint. Over the next few weeks we'll be doing a bit of clean-up and landscaping. Here is a glimpse of this new connector where it comes into the trail.

Another Haul from February 2010 Workday on the ATT

Fraternity group with trash removed near the ATT.

On February 28, over 20 members of the Psi Upsilon fraternity at Duke University came out for a second pass at removing the old appliances and trash from the woods adjacent to the new Phase E section of the ATT near Massey Chapel Road. Their initial ATT workday on January 24th produced a similar haul. We estimate that the group's efforts have removed about 90% of the trash from this area. The attached image shows the group and the latest pile. We also want to thank the Impact Team from the City of Durham who efficiently pick up these large hauls to keep the roadside looking nice.

Durham Trailhead Transferred to City of Durham

After numerous delays, the City of Durham has acquired the Fayetteville Road Trailhead from the Triangle Greenways Council. For the near future, TRTC will continue its periodic mowing and other maintenance of the trailhead. Trailhead users may notice a new drainage grate which we installed in May 2009 at the top of the connector trail.

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