Breakfast Recap: What Is The Lower Saluda Greenway?

February 10, 2021 | Posted By: Connor Watkins

Receiving over 1,000 surveys and 3,000 interactions in conducting a feasibility study, the Lower Saluda Greenway project is gaining popularity. Ernie Boughman, director of operations for the Southeastern U.S. for Toole Design, shared details for the design of this new park connectivity system.

The study, conducted by the Central Midlands Council of Governments along with support from the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission, defines the mission and purpose of this trail to connect two key segments to existing greenways. The Lake Murray Dam corridor would continue by crossing Highway 6 on the Irmo side, connecting Saluda Shoals Park and further connecting Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and the Saluda River Walk. These connections will create a 10.5-mile multi-use, paved pathway for walking, bicycling and wheeling access to many communities and surrounding amenities.

The goal will be to provide safe access and connectivity between communities. The Three Rivers Pathway has already benefitted 56,000 people. This feasibility study currently has found that 36 percent of surveyors are interested bicyclists but concerned for safety while 77 percent would be more active if they had safe connections.

The Lower Saluda Greenway will not only provide connection to existing facilities, but also better scenic views of the river, wetlands and surrounding landscape - paved pathways, boardwalks, bridges, and trailheads. The design will consist of 12-foot seamless and coherent pathways with emphasis on safety where rail lines and roadways are crossed. Alternatives for the heavily traveled Highway 6 and Highway 60 intersection may include a bridge, tunnel, pedestrian only phase at signal, or slip lanes with raised crossings to slow traffic and raise pedestrians and bicyclists up for better sight at crossing. Long term connectivity is being assessed by communities including the Town of Lexington exploring a river access crossing.

You can view more about the project here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPXMKUkdq7A.