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Charlotte, NC-- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department’s greenway system in the university area of Charlotte is about to begin an important expansion, funded by federal stimulus money.

A $1.25 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will build the new Toby Creek Greenway to and through the campus of UNC-Charlotte. This initial phase of Toby Creek greenway will run about two miles. It will connect the 7.1 mile-long Mallard Creek/Clark’s Creek Greenway system with the university campus.

Construction is expected to start before the end of the year, and the greenway is expected to take about 12 months to complete. The project runs along Toby Creek.

This section of greenway will link many neighborhoods in the university area to the UNCC campus, allowing many students, faculty, and staff to walk or ride bikes to the university. The greenway will also link to schools, parks, apartments, retail shopping, and neighborhoods. Neighborhoods which adjoin this greenway system include: Fairlea, Wellington, Winchester, Mallard Ridge, Radbourne, Colvard Park, Mallard Trace, Brookstone, and the University Research Park.

Toby Creek Greenway will start at Mallard Creek Greenway near North Tryon Street, run though the western part of the university campus and on to NC Highway 49 near Harris Blvd. A spur trail will also connect to University Place and the Shoppes at University. Toby Creek Greenway will also provide a future connection to the planned rail transit station along the Blue Line Extension of Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS).

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. Toby Creek Greenway was MUMPO’s highest ranked pedestrian/bicycle project

Toby Creek 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.”