Dozens of improvement projects planned for West Ashley greenway and bikeway

VIDEO: Dozens of improvement projects planned for West Ashley greenway and bikeway

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The West Ashley greenway and bikeway could soon be getting a makeover. The city of Charleston is planning dozens of projects to improve both paths.

On Wednesday, the West Ashley Revitalization Commission could endorse the master plan of those projects.

“The master plan for the Greenway and Bikeway is the fruition of a-year-long process of community engagement,” Jason Kronsberg, the city’s director of parks, said. “It’s a plan that identifies areas along both corridors for specific project installments.”

One of the areas identified was Savannah Highway where the parks department is hoping to connect the bikeway and the greenway with a crossing there.

“It’s about linking all the corridors and making it safer,” Kronsberg said.

The greenway is a more than eight-mile-long linear park that stretches from Folly Road to Main Road. The bikeway is a separate two-and-a-half mile long path that starts on Wappoo Road and ends at the Ashley River.

The projects aim to make both paths safer and more beautiful, according to Harry Lesesne with the Charleston Parks Conservancy. The non-profit is partnering with the city on many of the projects.

On the greenway, the master plan lays out possible projects including the construction of playgrounds, small gathering spots, and community gardens.

As for making the paths safer, the parks department wants to improve the intersections where the paths meet a street, which will include adding more signage to those areas.

One spot that could see this firsthand is where the bikeway crosses Saint Andrews Boulevard. To get across the highway, bikers have to leave the path, go down the street, cross, then come back up to get back on the path. The city is looking at making it a more seamless transition.

Crews working on the project are also hoping it makes finding the two paths a lot easier.

“We’re working with another non-profit called West Ashley United to build a new plaza at the terminus of the bikeway at Wappoo Road,” Lesesne said. “So to build a visible place, so people can say, ‘Hey, that’s the West Ashley Bikeway. That’s where I can begin to ride that.’ Right now, it’s not visible. Most people don’t even know it’s there.”

Funding for all of this will be done on a project by project basis, according to Lesesne. City, county, state, federal, and private funds will all be used.

As for when it’ll be complete, that timeline has not been set, but some projects are already in the works.

"Right now, we are in the process of finalizing construction drawings for the repaving of the existing Bikeway,” Kronsberg said.

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