The Downtown Greenway, a 12-foot-wide sidewalk around downtown Greensboro, was begun in 2001 and construction on the final mile of the four-mile Downtown Greenway could begin as soon as April of this year.
The latest update on construction on the Downtown Greenway website states that the final mile will go out to bid in the summer of 2021 with construction beginning in the fall and completion in 2023. However, awarding the bid was delayed until February 2022.
The total projected cost of the Downtown Greenway is estimated to be $43 million or over $10 million a mile for the walking and biking trail that will encircle the center city and, when it is finished, will have taken over 22 years to complete.
The Downtown Greenway project was started under Mayor Keith Holliday and has been continued by mayors Yvonne Johnson, Bill Knight, Robbie Perkins and by current Mayor Nancy Vaughan. If each of the five mayors could have completed about 3/4 of a mile of Greenway during their tenure, it would be finished.
In 2001, the Downtown Greenway was listed as one of three major projects to improve downtown Greensboro; the other two were Center City Park, which opened in 2006, and a minor league baseball stadium, which opened in 2005.
The downtown performing arts center was not even being considered in 2001. What is now the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts was first proposed in 2011 and completed in 2019. People complained about how long it took to complete.
The construction that may begin as soon as April is for the western leg of the Downtown Greenway from Smith Street south to Spring Garden Street. An agreement was reached in 2019 with Norfolk Southern Railway for the city to purchase the abandoned Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad corridor for the purpose of building the greenway under the railbanking provisions of the National Trails System Act.
There is some good news about the Downtown Greenway. From 2001 to 2017, only one mile of the 12-foot-wide sidewalk around downtown Greensboro had been completed, and since 2017 another two miles have been completed, leaving only this last mile.