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South Boston Council backs trail pathway / September 12, 2019

South Boston Town Council will move forward with plans to build a short pathway from the SVHEC Innovation Center to the Tobacco Heritage Trail, improving pedestrian access over the railroad tracks that lie below the higher education center.

Council agreed Monday night to seek VDOT grant funding to build a 700-foot trail extension from the lower reaches of the SVHEC to a point in front of the Crossing of the Dan park, where trail walkers can pick up a rough-hewn path that leads to the main tobacco trail a few hundred feet away. If and when the trail extension is built, it will give South Boston a second developed access route to the trail, along with the trailhead park at the old Cotton Mill site.

The proposed pathway will have an asphalt or rock dust surface for a 500-foot long, 10-foot wide stretch running parallel to a short section of Norfolk & Southern rail line. A perpendicular, 200-foot section will run from the SVHEC across the track tracks, with features to provide ADA handicapped access.

The extension project comes as work is set to soon begin on lengthening the tobacco trail by roughly one and a half miles, extending it past Berry Hill Resort to a new end point at Mirey Creek.

The approximate cost of the pathway is $221,000.

In other action at the Monday meeting of South Boston Town Council:

A Constitution Week proclamation was read by Town Manager Tom Raab and presented to Cynthia Hall, Constitution Week chairman of the Berryman Green Chapter, NSDAR.

A request from Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation to close and vacate an alleyway on the construction site of the SOVA Innovation Center was approved by Council. The alleyway condemnation will be completed by the end of September, prior to groundbreaking at the site in October.

» Council members appointed Marcus Hargrave to the Lake Country Development Corporation, replacing Coleman Speece who opted against another term on the board of directors.

» Councilman Bob Hughes asked members to appear at a ceremony this Saturday, Sept. 14 to celebrate the raising of new walls for a Habitat for Humanity house at 313 Wickham Street. Hughes chairs the local Habitat chapter.

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