Folks who were instrumental in the creation of the Harrogate Walking Trail gathered last week at the railroad crossing which designates the end of phase IV of the project. The dreary weather added to the somber mood of those who remembered two men who did not live to see the project advance to this stage – former Mayor Bill Fultz and Dr. Edwin Robertson.
Both men spent an inordinate amount of time, sweat of the brow and trips to Nashville to acquire the railroad crossing signal now adorning the section of railway.
“The signal was installed just weeks following Edwin’s (Robertson) death. Bill (Fultz) saw the signals, but did not get to see the completion of the trail project,” said Rose Kiser, city recorder.
So far, the walking trail project has cost $604,174, including the installation by Norfolk Southern of the gated crossing. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has reimbursed the city some $434,855 to date, via grant funds.
Once the city acquired the grant, the Claiborne County Commission agreed to appropriate funds in the yearly budget. According to Kiser, the county has paid the city $73,065 so far — for Harrogate’s portion of the matching grant. County government has also agreed to pay the annual maintenance fee to Norfolk Southern.
This particular grant completes four-tenths of a mile of the walking trail which begins at the Cumberland Gap High School and ends at the railroad crossing on Old Jacksboro Pike.
“Unfortunately, the phase five application for the final phase, which would complete the trail from the railroad to the existing trail at H.Y. Livesay, was not awarded this year,” said Kiser, and added the city will resubmit the application next year.
When completed, the Daniel Boone Walking/Biking Trail will connect all area schools from CGHS to the Town of Cumberland Gap, before connecting to the trail systems in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.