New section of Swamp Rabbit Trail opens after push from businesses

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- A section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail was not open for months and it still might not be if it wasn’t for a handful of restaurant and retail store owners who voiced their concern about the closures impacting their businesses.

Unity Park and parts of the Swamp Rabbit Trail have been a work zone for a while.

Southernside Brewing is one of the businesses that sit right by the trail.

For people like Lydia Turbeville who love walking to restaurants from downtown, places on the trail, like Southernside have been hard to get to because of all the closures.

“It did take me a long time for me to find this place because the trail was closed,” Turbeville said.

The owner of Southerside, Nate Tomforde, said revenue has taken a hit because of it.

“We were down about 40% in sales,” Tomforde said.

Tomforde and other business owners on the trail took the issue to the city council.

“Once we started emailing and calling they took action pretty quickly after that,” Tomforde said. The city council listened.

Friday night the city opened one of the bridges and a section of the trail.

Tomforde says it’s a huge relief and hopefully they’ll get more and more foot traffic like they had before.

“I tend to be a little understanding because construction is hard, I just didn’t think they realized how much it was impacting our business,” Tomforde said.

There’s still a lot of construction going on around that area. The completion for Unity Park is expected to be Spring of 2022.

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