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BURGAW, NC (NEWS RELEASE) –- Pender County has been awarded $72,404 from the State of North Carolina Recreational Trails Program to develop the first segment of the West Pender Rail-Trail. The grant was prepared through the County’s Department of Planning and Community Development, and will fund the development of 1.11 miles of a crushed stone surfaced trail from Vitamin Drive to the northern boundary of the Pender Commerce Park on US Highway 421, near the Pender–New Hanover County boundary. The trail will be 8 to 10’ wide, and suitable for bicycling, walking and jogging.

This portion of the trail will be the first segment of a larger bicycle and pedestrian network planned to link the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington to the Moores Creek National Battlefield in Currie.

The rail-trail project in Pender County will utilize the former Seaboard Coastline Railroad corridor where possible, and may potentially span all the way to Fayetteville, connecting communities and providing a destination for tourism and outdoor recreation in the region. This first trail segment will serve as a catalyst for future trail development in the western part of the county, and county leaders feel the trail will serve as an additional amenity for attracting new business, industrial and residential growth.

Trail development will utilize volunteer work where possible with help from the West Pender Rail-Trail Alliance, a non-profit group formed to advocate bicycle and pedestrian trail development in western Pender County.

Comment on this Story

  • What??????

    $72,404 for 1.11 miles??????? Last week it was reported that the land and ground water, where the first segment is to be located is contaminated. Will this money go to clean up or rocks? $72,404 will buy quite a few rocks.

  • Guest5454

    Half that and I’ll build the trail 2 miles long!!!!!

    Amazing how much is needed by gov’t to do things like this and how much reg folks can do it!

  • 1234

    Where are Pender counties Priorities?

    Maybe the unemployed will get fit?
    A better sense of the unemployed is needed in Pender county.
    This money could have been used on training or something of better value.
    With the Coty plant closure, a lot of pender county voters are at a loss. Wake up Pender County !!!!!

  • The cost alone for the rock is $37,000. Then you have to remove the topsoil, grade the path, spread the stone, and compact it.

  • Peyton Garrett

    A trail that will be used by who and when? This is an Industrial corridor. Who and with what funds will be maintaining this “trail”? The scavengers will be hauling off the rock as quick as it is put down. They did it when the old ACL rail bed was removed through Atkinson and from Castle Hayne to Wallace. Who thinks this stuff up? This trail will probably never be finished, Why start it? Unbelievable! Money for nothing.


    going broke and having tight budgets this is a stupid idea. This money is a pure waste of resources. This is exactly what is wrong with government. More waste of taxpayer dollars.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The federal government is $15 trillion in debt. The state is laying off workers and removing positions because of the need to close a multi billion dollar shortfall.

    But by God, we’ll build that bike trail!

    The feds and state have no business funding this kind of local project. If the residents of a county want a bike trail OR lights on one of their fields, the residents of the county SHOULD pay for it. It only benefits the locals.

    We have totally corrupted the basic tenets of federalism, and that’s why we’re slowly sinking into insolvency. When wheat farmers in Minnesota are paying to build a Pender County bike trail while Pender County residents are funding a daycare center in San Diego, all accountability and responsibility goes right out the window.

  • Larry

    For those who failed reading comprehension, the article clearly states the money is from a state grant, which is actually federal pass through money that was already earmarked. Good for Pender County to take advantage of the opportunity! The money would end up somewhere, why not use it to better our region?

    The money covers not just the rock, but other costs too…site prep, permitting fees, etc. It also says the county is using volunteers to help build the trail.

    Heaven forbid the county try to do something good for it’s citizens and neighbors and get a great project started, using already allocated federal dollars. Where were all you armchair politicians when the county paid $400k out of pocket to put some lights up at their ball fields last year?

  • Peyton Garrett

    I comprehend that no matter where this pork barrel money came from it is a waste to put it into a project like this at this time. When fiscal responsibility is returned and the coffers are flush then a project of this sort MAY be planned, scrutinized and then see if there will be an adequate return on investment. The feds, states, counties and municipalities can not spend money like this so some few can feel better about themselves. You sir do not comprehend.

  • Colin

    I love how everyone is complaining about this project and the waste of money, however pender county tax payers dont get upset with paying for a county parks director each year for a county that has NO PARKS!! At least money is being spent positively in the county for the residents to take advantage of since we have no other forms of recreation other then stupid baseball fields everywhere.

  • adc

    Actually, numerous studies have shown that trail construction results in very positive economic development impacts: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/economics/economic-benefits-trails-macdonald.html. I would guess the ROI will be quite high, and $72,000 is a deal for over 1 mi of graded trail. Seems that folks would welcome the opportunity to leverage federal funds in order to create a community asset that not only offers quality of life benefits, but could also attract visitors who will spend money in Pender County.


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