Norfolk Southern easement clears path for greenway extension

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The new year will bring new construction on another segment of the Roanoke River Greenway.

Friday, we learned the city of Roanoke and Norfolk Southern have reached agreement on an easement that will allow the work to start in 2017.

The city has been trying to bridge the gap between the Roanoke and Salem segments of the greenway. The next section will run about a mile and a quarter from the eastern end of Aerial Way Drive.

A section that hugs the Roanoke River now comes to an abrupt end. And the city has been working with Norfolk Southern for a couple of years to secure an easement that would allow its extension

"So we're very happy to have that completed," said City Engineer Phil Schirmer.

A new bridge will carry the greenway to the north side of the river. and the path will run alongside the Norfolk Southern materials yard.

Funding for the project was time-sensitive.

"The deadline was May of 2017," Schirmer told WDBJ7, "so we're very happy that we're going to meet that. We hope to put the project out to bid in early 2017."

This project does not include the area near the Walker Foundry property.

City officials say they continue to talk with representatives of the company.