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UPDATE on Clayton's Pedestrian Tunnel & Greenway Extension into Downtown!

08/14/2020

UPDATE: O'NEIL STREET HAS RE-OPENED TO TRAFFIC
TUNNEL & GREENWAY CONSTRUCTION ENTER FINAL STAGES
NEW GREENWAY EXTENSION TO OPEN TO PUBLIC IN JANUARY 2021
You may not imagine paving an asphalt path through the woods takes much effort, but tunneling under a major Clayton thoroughfare, building bridges over streams and re-aligning trails to connect parks is complicated! While we had sights set on opening the new Sam's Branch Greenway extension this fall, work near Legend Park needs to wrap up before we can safely allow the public to utilize the new trail that brings people from the Sam's Branch trailhead/parking lot and up to Legend. 
MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION TO HIT THE NEW GREENWAY IN CLAYTON!
Follow ClaytonNCParks on Facebook & Instagram for updates! 

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Clayton is Building a Tunnel & Greenway Extension into Downtown Clayton!
Construction brings temporary shutdowns of Legend Park, O’Neil Street & Sam’s Branch Trailhead

UPDATE: O'NEIL STREET TO CLOSE TO ALL TRAFFIC JUNE 22 for EIGHT WEEKS THROUGH AUGUST 9!

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 closer 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 millions in 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 Town 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.

EXTENDED CLOSURE O’NEIL STREET FOR DRIVERS 
STARTS MONDAY JUNE 22 - COULD RUN EIGHT WEEKS THROUGH AUGUST 9

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 PERHAPS FOR EIGHT WEEKS UNTIL AUGUST 9th.  The Fred Smith Company and the Town of Clayton worked closely with NCDOT, town/county public safety officials 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 services will continue as normal, 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 Rd. to Stallings Street and to Robertson to access Main Street or US70. See detour map below and click to enlarge

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. 

LEGEND PARK CLOSED 

Legend Park off City Rd., 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 public should NOT be using 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 (our section of the Mountains to Sea trail) and the Sam's Branch greenway, but heading to that popular access at 2686 Covered Bridge Road. Click to see a map of both trails.

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