June 13, 2013
Scenic Byway Pathway: Pushing Forward
By IAN BISANTZ
the partnership of the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway, the Dare
County Tourism and Health Committee, and Dare County’s Outer Banks
Scenic Byway Committee, the construction of a pathway through Avon and
the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo are well on its way.
both locals and tourists will have a safe area for meandering through
the northern Hatteras villages, according to Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy,
chairwoman of the county’s Scenic Byway Committee and a moving force
behind the pathway.
The initial construction, which began in
April, is expected to last into mid-July. The project has been allowed
105 calendar days for completion but, if need be, the committee can ask
for an extension.
Construction of the pathway includes the use
of wood and concrete, with the path itself being completely concrete.
Concrete was chosen because it’s inexpensive yet strong. Also using
concrete means any damage can be repaired by a local contractor, which
would not be the case with asphalt. Wood will be used as a barrier on
each side of the pathway in order to keep the pathways shape and will
also be used on bridges over wetlands.
The completed pathway
will weave its way through the entire village of Avon from the
northernmost ramp, on the side sound, to the southernmost part of Avon
ending at the site of the historic Big Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station.
The pathway in the tri-villages will start in the Rodanthe Historic
District, at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center, and continue
southward to the Salvo Day Use Area.
Because of the extensive
ditches, drainages, and waterways throughout the tri-villages, the
construction of four elevated bridges is required. The bridges
themselves will be 8 feet wide, compared to the 5-foot width of pathway
The project itself has a budget of $2.45
million. Bids from the two contracting companies on the project came in
at $1.5 million. The rest of the budget money has come solely from
volunteer donations from around the county and money set aside for
pathway projects from Dare County’s Tourism Board.
the pathway becomes available for use, islanders and visitors will be
able to walk, rollerblade, bike, skateboard, and run on the
pathway. The only means of transportation that is not allowed on
the pathway is the use of motorized vehicles unless they are necessary
for mobility, such as motorized wheelchairs and scooter. Golf carts
will not be allowed.
In order to keep the pathway clean and
provide any necessary work it requires, the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic
Association has pledged to adopt-a-pathway in those villages. This will
assure users and the county, that the pathway stays open, clear, and
clean for year-round use.
The overall purpose of the Scenic
Byway pathway project is to get the community involved. The goal of the
Outer Banks National Scenic Byway and the Dare County Department of
Public Health is to get the community more active in a healthy
lifestyle including exercise. They have teamed up to create the Pathway
for Health, which is a year-long study involving the pathway and the
direct effect it has on the community’s overall health.
committee will take data from participants in three categories --
overall weight, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI). After a
fiscal year of participants’ using the pathway, the committee will
regroup and take data on the three categories again to see if the
community members have seen an improvement in their health.
is no cost to participate in the study, which is completely voluntary
and is open to adults who live and work in the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo and
Dare County and the Scenic Byway Committee hope the
pathway is not only used by islanders and visitors but also ensures
their safety. They are planning ahead for more pathways in the
If you have any questions on the Pathway for
Health study or would like to learn more about the pathway project, you
can contact the Dare County Department of Public Health at 252-475-5081.