SIMPSONVILLE, SC – A new bike trail is set for construction in Simpsonville that will take cyclers to the city’s downtown area.
Simpsonville City Council voted unanimously to fund the one-mile stretch of path, extending from Trade Street down to Fairview Road.
“Simpsonville City Council is a unified Council. We voted unanimously in support of trails because they increase quality of life for our citizens and provide a boost to our economy.” – Lou Hutchings, Simpsonville City Council
For shops in the downtown area, the addition is a strong business opportunity.
“They will be exposed to all of our wonderful shopping here in the downtown area, our restaurants, some of our unique places such as some of the gift shops,” said Mayor Janice Curtis, boasting an economic impact that will likely be felt in the local business community.
Dennis Moore, a volunteer at the bike shop Cycle Haus near the beginning of the trail, said he also saw the project as a business opportunity. “I think it’s going to be really cool,” Moore said Wednesday. “It’s going to get more people in here.”
According to City Administrator Dianna Gracely, the $450,000 project will be paid for by hospitality and accommodations tax funding.
Most of the money will go toward new storm water piping and laying asphalt.
While it’s only a one-mile strip, Gracely added the vision is to establish local trails not only in the Simpsonville community, but also across the Golden Strip area to create a network of paths for cyclists.
“The idea is to have the spine of the Swamp Rabbit, if you will, extend from ICAR along the existing railway, all the way through the Golden Strip area so this would be part of the spine of that system,” Gracely said.
The Golden Strip Trails Group, a community board that has been pushing the need for trails in the Simpsonville community over the years, told 7-News Wednesday that the ultimate goal would be to connect the trails to the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and have it extend out to Laurens.
While there are many potential trail opportunities up for discussion, not many have been finalized.
“We’re working all together to try to make this happens, so we’re working with a one-mile piece but hopefully it will be many, many miles of trails,” said Robin Darnell, Public Relations coordinator for the group.
According to Darnell, the next phase of the project is to extend the trail to Heritage Park.
The current one-mile stretch is scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2019.