City council discusses building possible recreational trails in - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City council discusses building possible recreational trails in City of Conway

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Conway city planners discussed the hopes of building new recreation trails at last night’s city council meeting. The trails hope is to connect Coastal Carolina University to Conway, and grow from there. The only thing holding the city back is funding.

The city of Conway is currently looking for several grants for recreational trails. These would bike and pedestrian paths. City officials tell me there are many trails in the city, but none that connect the university to downtown Conway.

City planning director, Adam Emrick, tells me the river that separates the two is a big hurdle and a big expense, but that’s one of the biggest things the city is trying to focus on. He says there is a grant opportunity they are hoping to be able to capture to make this link.

The city set 40 thousand dollars to conduct a study that will show where the river crossing should go, the cost of the crossing, and hopefully they can use that information to implement a grant that would allow them make the link between the university and downtown Conway.

“It would wonderful,” said Emrick. “You’re looking here at Lake Busbee that has a trail around it. Most people don’t even realize that we have a number of trails that are already here that capitalize on the beauty of Conway.”

Emrick said if they provided a link with Coastal Carolina it would come on along the trail system along Lake Busbee, and they plan to update the entire trail to make more user friendly.

After the flood waters receded on Crabtree creek, Emrick said they were able to see the potential in developing it into a recreation trail. There’s a level bank with pathways already in place.

Crabtree creek runs through the city of Conway and the trails would connect a number of neighborhoods, the high school, and the Recreation Center. Emrick said the project can be done pretty efficiently as well. There’s already a section of trails between US 701 and Long Ave Extension.

“Very few people use it. It’s one of those hidden secrets and it’s a beautiful trail. If we could build that trail infrastructure throughout the city, it would be a wonderful thing for the city.”

Emrick said the city get tons of cyclist that drive through Conway heading to the beach, these trails would get them off the main roads and to a trail with better scenery. He also says this is something he wants for his kids, so they’ll have a safe place to ride their bikes.

One of the ideal things they look for in a trails program is to connect it with different areas. Connecting parks is big part of that.

A trail system that would connect Coastal Carolina to Lake Busbee would also connect Coastal to the City of Conway dog park, and if they can connect the dog park to the Riverwalk, the Riverwalk is adjacent to the downtown area – and now you’ve started to put together a green infrastructure that connects a number of different amenities, that Emrick said people would want to use to get from place to place. And would also create a great bike and pedestrian friendly area.

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