Bridge to an actual somewhere
Gregg Watkins
SouthEnd rail trail

Alaska may have had a “bridge to nowhere” but Charlotte is closing in on a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting two thriving urban neighborhoods.

The city has secured funding to complete the Rail Trail Bridge, spanning I-277 and filling a major gap in the rail trail network by connecting Uptown with Southend.

Currently, pedestrians and bicyclists must leave the rail trail and take Morehead Street or College Street to cross over I-277.

The $11 million project is a public-private effort funded in part by the N.C. Department of Transportation, Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte. U.S. Bank will contribute $1 million toward the project.

The bridge supports the Charlotte Department of Transportation commitment to enhancing transportation choices for residents and visitors.

Design work on the bridge is set to begin this fall. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2021 and it should open by the end of 2022.