The current projection on the Downtown Greenway is that it will be completed in 2020 at a cost of $40 million.
The Downtown Greenway is an extra wide four-mile long sidewalk that, if it is ever finished, will circle the downtown. The project was started in 2001, which means most of the babies who were born that year have finished high school and some have children of their own.
So far, in over 18 years of design, development and construction, the city has managed to finish less than half – 1.5 miles – of the Downtown Greenway, and the two sections don’t meet. So you can’t actually walk for 1.5 miles on the Greenway. By comparison, during just half that time, between 2006 and 2015, the city completed 133 miles of new sidewalks.
Then there is the cost. It is currently estimated that the total cost will be $40 million. That’s about $10 million a mile, or nearly $2,000 a foot.
How many homeowners in Greensboro, if told that the cost of putting in 15 feet of sidewalk between their driveway and their front door would be $30,000 would accept that bid?
If anyone on the current City Council were even marginally interested in how the city spends its money, somebody would at least ask why it is costing roughly the same amount per mile to build the Downtown Greenway as to build a six-lane interstate through an urban area.
Construction on the Downtown Greenway is, according to the Downtown Greenway website, projected to be complete in 2020, but the city has not acquired the right-of-way for the western leg, which runs along the Atlantic and Yadkin railroad tracks. Since the city can’t start construction until it acquires the right-of-way, and since it has only managed to construct 1.5 miles in 18 years, it appears the projection that the entire Downtown Greenway will be completed a mere 16 months from now is not rational.