Council Will Seek Grant To Pay For Proposed $2.3 Million Pedestrian Trail

This Town of Smithfield map shows the proposed location of an 8 foot-wide multi-purpose trail along West Market Street from the Neuse River Bridge to Wilson’s Mills Road.


SMITHFIELD – A proposed multi-purpose trail on Market Street from the Neuse River Bridge to Wilson’s Mills Road could cost $2,345,000.

During the January 3, 2023 meeting of the Smithfield Town Council, the board voted unanimously to seek a state grant to pay for 80 percent of the project. The town would be required to pay for 20 percent, or $480,000, if the grant application is approved.

Councilman Dr. David Barbour, who represents West Smithfield, made a motion to seek the grant. Councilman Steve Rabil seconded the motion.

Councilman Travis Scott said he supported the project but believed there were other more pressing priorities like fixing potholes in roads. Scott called the proposed trail a “luxury and not a priority.”

Town Manager Mike Scott said there were several ways the Town could pay for the trail, including Fund Balance, America Rescue Plan Funds, or debt repayment.

Planning Director Stephen Wensman presented the proposed trail project. Mr. Wensman said there has been interest for some time for a way pedestrians could travel along West Market Street to Wilson’s Mills Road.

In 2014, the Town approved a landscape project for West Market Street and had envisioned sidewalks along both sides of Market Street, however, only the landscaping was installed, Wensman stated.

Under the new $2.3 million plan, an 8 foot-wide multi-purpose trail would be built on the north side of West Market Street. The price tag is only an estimate and the project could cost more or less. However, it can be modified depending on the final cost.

The council voted unanimously to apply for the grant before the March 15, 2023 application deadline.

14 COMMENTS

  1. What??
    A trail along West Market St to Wilson Mill Rd?
    In front of dozens of business driveways ?
    With cars turning quickly off Market St along a trail with bikes or pedestrians?
    That is a recipe for disaster with people hit and killed by quickly turning vehicles.
    Am I missing something here ?

  2. Why are they looking to make a walking trail when people are barely making ends. This shows how bad government really is. Instead of using that money to help people they are spending it on pet projects that really do not have to happen. Now if economy wasn’t were it is now then sure lets make some improvements but this is a poorly timed pork spending.

  3. Anything like this needs to be on the ballot. It’s not up to the town council to spend this many tax dollars on their want. Alwas follow the money, someone’s getting a kick back

  4. Not sure why this is even necessary people have been walking and riding bicycles for years along this route, and yes a person definitely needs to be careful with all of the traffic and people turning into driveways along this route. They would have been better off doing something like this going down Durwood Stephenson Pkwy, that bridge is narrow and scary for pedestrian traffic to say the least.

  5. 480,000 would buy the fire department a bare bones fire truck. would definitely buy several police cars. money could be used to fix potholes, pave streets, or better yet give raises to emergency services workers.

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