O’Neil Street In Clayton To Close For Tunnel And Greenway Extension

Street Will Close June 22nd To All Traffic For 8 Weeks
Construction brings temporary shutdowns of Legend Park & Sam’s Branch Trailhead

CLAYTON – Construction has started on a $3.5 million greenway extension that calls for tunneling under O’Neil Street to extend the Sam’s Branch Greenway to Legend Park. This extension will give walkers, runners and bicyclists a safe and scenic trail into Downtown Clayton. The popular trail will be part of the East Coast Greenway and will connect to the Clayton River Walk on the Neuse section of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Currently, the greenway dead ends at O’Neil Street.

The Town of Clayton Economic Development Office helped to secure Federal Highway Administration funds from the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for the Phase II of Sam’s Branch Greenway. This successful lobbying brings incredible savings to town taxpayers with $3,570,338 in federal funds going toward the project and the Town of Clayton being responsible for only $714,067 of that cost.

The project work includes construction of 1.41 total miles of trail, consisting of 1.34 miles of new 10-foot-wide asphalt pathways, 270 feet of new 10-foot-wide wooden boardwalks, 60 feet of new steel bridge construction, a pedestrian tunnel under O’Neil Street and all of the associated roadwork, clearing, drainage, erosion control, and signage on the greenway.

The most difficult part of this project is construction of a pedestrian tunnel under busy O’Neil Street. The work will center around the Sam’s Branch Greenway Trailhead at 1358 N. O’Neil Street. It will start on Monday, June 22nd and will require the closure of O’Neil Street in the area around the tunnel to all vehicle traffic for up to eight weeks.

The Fred Smith Company and the Town of Clayton worked closely with NCDOT, town and county public safety official,s and Johnston County Public School leaders to try to shorten the closure and expedite the tunnel work. The parking lot and access to the Sam’s Branch greenway will be closed as it is right next to the construction area.

Residents of the Ashcroft subdivision will still be able to access their neighborhood entrance during the closure and garbage and emergency services will still be able to access the homes, however, they will not be able to turn south (left) to head into Downtown Clayton. All traffic will need to detour by taking a right turn out of the neighborhood and then turn left onto Covered Bridge Road to City Road to Stallings Street and to Robertson to access Main Street or US 70. .

Portions of O’Neil Street leading up to the full closure/construction area will be closed to local traffic only. This will include the area from Oakdale Avenue and Atwood Drive near the entrance of the Ashcroft neighborhood. There will be closure barricades in place for general traffic.

Legend Park Closed

Legend Park off City Road with its ball field and mountain bike trails, has been closed completely and will continue to be closed. The trail is being extended from the tunnel construction area and up into Legend Park and the work of clearing trees and paving the new trail continue. The park is blocked off with signage, fencing and working construction equipment, but we continue to see the public attempting to use the park. For your safety during these dangerous clearing operations, the Town of Clayton asks the public not to use this park.

As an alternate, greenway users should access our trail system using the parking lot and trailhead at the Clayton River Walk on the Neuse Greenway (Clayton’s section of the Mountains to Sea trail) and the Sam’s Branch greenway.