New year, old problems for Roanoke trails and greenways

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ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) When Liz Belcher takes a walk on the Roanoke River Greenway, she sees plenty of work that needs to be done.

"You can see there's still railings missing, you can see there's trash in the trees that we haven't gotten out," she said.

2018's record rain and floods have Belcher, who works as the Roanoke Valley Greenway Coordinator, scrambling with other groups and agencies to repair the region's parks and trails. "And all of that takes time to get caught up with all the damage," she said.

Progress has been made, at a price. "Park's budget was long overspent in terms of repair," said Belcher.

The low water bridge received major repairs, and missing chunks of pavement have been filled. But the job isn't done in many places.

"It does impact people's lives if they can't go out and do their normal exercise or their normal routine," said Belcher.

People like Michael Leona.

"Well some days are better than others," said Leona.

Michael bikes to work at Carillion every day he can, and takes frequent walks with wife Stephanie and dog Pepper.

Stephanie says she's seen plenty of people struggling to make use of the Greenway this past year. "It kinda was difficult for them to actually enjoy the Greenway or find a way to actually get to it," she said.

As 2018's rain rolls over into a new year, Liz Belcher says volunteers and employees alike are doing was they can as fast as they can. And plenty of Roanokers are grabbing their bikes and running shoes, despite the ligering dings and dents.

"How many people do we see out here? A continuous stream of people!"

Belcher asks the public to be respectful of closures and to do their part to keep the trails and greenways clean. It helps repairs go that much faster.