Asheville’s Newest Section of Greenway Opens

Mountain Xpress / Cindy Kunst

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest section of the French Broad River Greenway was held Friday, April 21, at the foot of the New Belgium brewery as part of the city of Asheville’s Earth Week Celebration.

Representatives from the many public and private partnerships that had a role in the development of this section, called West Greenway Stage 1, were on hand to discuss the improvements that are now in place.

Steph Monson Dahl, the city’s riverfront office director, and Garrett Artz, RiverLink’s new executive director, answered questions and greeted guests at the trailhead to the greenway at the intersection of Craven Street and Emma Road. Displays and signs designed by Asheville Design Center surround the open space telling stories and highlighting the history of the river valley.

“Right now, the focus is to take the greenway across Craven Street Bridge,” Dahl said. “Over the next three years, we’ll be filling in all the pieces — from the Wilma Dykeman plan and the RADTIP  plans — on the eastern bank of the river, which will mimic what’s happening on this side of the river, so people can be safe walking or biking and it will be more convenient to get around in the [River Arts District]. The county is partnering with the city moving forward to extend the greenway all the way to Woodfin, which is really exciting.” Dahl said plans include a sidewalk connection up Emma Road and connecting this new stretch of the greenway to Richmond Hill.

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"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

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