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Charlotte, NC-- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has secured $1.1 million in federal stimulus funding to begin a new greenway in Davidson. The grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will build the first phase of the new West Branch Rocky River Greenway.

This phase will run 1.1 miles. It will combine with the existing Southeast Greenway, linking several residential communities to Davidson Elementary School, South Street Park, and to an area with sidewalks and easy biking to downtown Davidson and Davidson College.

Construction is expected to start in early 2010, and should take about 12 months to complete.

The new trail will run from River Ford Drive, east along West Branch Rocky River, ending east of Shearer Road. It will link with existing overland connectors (sidewalks and bike lanes) of Southeast Greenway, which passes through the River Run community and on to existing paved trail portions of Southeast Greenway.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law on February 17, 2009. This stimulus funding was obtained through the Mecklenburg Union County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) through a competitive ranking process.

Construction of West Branch Rocky River greenway was originally slated for funding with 2004 Park and Recreation bonds, but the County was unable to issue them because of its “debt diet” and the declining economy.

This is Mecklenburg County’s second greenway to draw federal stimulus money. The first was Toby Creek Greenway, which will link Mallard Creek/Clark’s Creek Greenway to the campus of UNC-Charlotte.