“For various reasons, this has been put on the back burner,” Smith said.
Work has been done on the trail since it was announced in 2017. Franklin County hired Christiansburg-based consulting firm A. Morton Thomas and Associates Inc. last year to design the trail layout in the Westlake area. .
Although designs may change, the original trail plan is a 2 mile loop with a shorter spur connecting the trails at Booker T. Washington National Monument. It will be 10 feet wide with a surface of crushed gravel and possibly paved in places. Prefabricated bridges will be installed at the watercourse crossings along the trail.
The trail is expected to pass through Runk & Pratt senior residences, the Westlake Towne Center, and the Carilion Wellness Center in Westlake. Smith said parking for the trail could be at or near the wellness center.
“I want this project to be completed for the citizens of Franklin County, and more specifically, my constituents,” Smith said.
Lisa Cooper, senior planner / long-range planning for Franklin County, said the trail has been 50% planned so far. She said work should continue to plan the trail while the county waits to see if the VDOT grant goes to the county.
Cooper said the additional trail subsidy was necessary due to the incline, terrain, and distance of the trail. The funding will allow the county to build the trail as originally planned without cutting any section of the trail from the project, she said.