Clayton Renames Trail Bridge For Former Planning Director

Trail Bridge Over the Neuse River To Become The Skip Browder Bridge

The Clayton Town Council honored former Clayton Planning Director James “Skip” Browder at its Monday, Dec. 22, meeting by adopting a resolution to rename what is known as the Steel Bridge along the Sam’s Branch Greenway the Skip Browder Bridge.

Browder was Clayton Planning Director from 1993 through 2000, and again from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. In addition to helping guide the town’s growth, he was a champion of greenways through town, especially the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which has become one of the town’s most lauded amenities.

Mayor Jody McLeod presented Browder’s family members, Lisa Ferguson and Jason Browder, with a commemorative plaque of the resolution.

He said, “I’m excited tonight because in this crazy, crazy year of 2020, it feels so good to be able to celebrate something so awesome. That’s exactly what we get to do as we honor Skip Browder. It’s been a long time coming.”

Browder served on county and state committees to make the Clayton portion of the greenway and MTS a reality. He also served as a member of the Town’s Park & Recreation Advisory Committee until his death in 2017.

In addition to his work in Clayton, Browder was a longtime member of the Johnston County Planning Board. The members of the county board made the recommendation to the Town to name a portion of the greenway after Browder.

Will Letchworth, Johnston County Planning Board member said, “Skip meant the absolute world to us. He was a friend and mentor to many of us on the Planning Board. He did a great service to Johnston County in his time as chairman and even more so in the way he guided us to treat everyone with the utmost amount of fairness and respect. He set the tone for how we still operate as a board…His legacy will live on through that board for what he instilled in us.”

Letchworth added “I’m glad to see that he will be honored on the greenway, a project that he was so passionate about and worked so hard to make a reality and that so many of us in Johnston County, in North Carolina and from around the U.S. come to Clayton to enjoy. I will certainly enjoy seeing his name when I walk across that bridge.”