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A New Appalachian Trail Bridge Is Coming To Roanoke County & You Can Weigh In On It


As many of those who take to the hiking trails during the summer off-season know, specifically the Appalachian Trail in this case, sometimes the road crossings can get a little sketchy. In the interest of making a crossing for the AT at Route 311 in Roanoke County, VA safer, the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT), in partnership with other agencies, is going to build a bridge at that crossing and they're giving the public a chance to comment on it.

"The McAfee Knob trailhead of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail access is extremely popular with hikers but poses a safety concern as pedestrians entering the trail from the nearby parking lot must cross Route 311 (Catawba Valley Drive) at a location in a curve with limited sight distance."

"As a long-term improvement to enhance pedestrian safety, VDOT, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, Roanoke County, and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, pursued plans for a bridge to carry trail users over Route 311 away from vehicular traffic."
- VDOT

The plan is to build the bridge not only to get AT hikers safely across the road but to make sure the bridge blends in with the trail's natural setting. The public will be able to comment on the project at the website that is linked at the bottom of the page. The page also includes 3D renderings of the proposed bridge and a section of FAQs.

The webpage linked at the bottom will be able to accept both comments and questions through Saturday, July 18th, 2020.

Appalachian Trail Bridge Over Route 311 in Roanoke County - Projects | Virginia Department of Transportation

The McAfee Knob trailhead of the Appalachian Trail access is extremely popular with hikers but poses a safety concern as pedestrians entering the trail from the nearby parking lot must cross Route 311 (Catawba Valley Drive) at a location in a curve with limited sight distance.



Photo: Trail marker sign near Rt. 311 - Credit: Patriarca12 / CC BY

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