Crabtree Creek erosion keeps Raleigh greenway closed indefinitely

February 19, 2019
The boardwalk along the Raleigh greenway just west of Capital Boulevard near Ratchford Drive is closed due to erosion.

Flooding and erosion along Crabtree Creek has degraded a portion of boardwalk so badly that the City of Raleigh doesn’t know when it will be able to reopen the greenway immediately north of Capital Boulevard.

That is frustrating to walkers, joggers and bikers who miss the access to exercise.

“This greenway, it’s stopped, and it’s stopped and it’s stopped. There are detours everywhere,” said Kathleen Flynn. She likes to bike with friend Connie Jones, but detours and delays have them shaking their heads.

One of those detours is at the boardwalk just west of Capital Boulevard near Ratchford Drive. The city says flooding and erosion along Crabtree Creek have undermined the structure.

David Bender, a parks engineer for the City of Raleigh, says they want to replace the boardwalk supports with a more durable structure. Recent erosion has planners looking into realigning the boardwalk to further protect it from the creek.

“I don’t have a timeline for you, but we are and have been working to get this project resolved and completed,” Bender said.

The existing construction of timber piers in concrete was consistent with other approved construction methods along the greenway back in 2003.

Jones, the biker, wishes they’d built it stronger in the first place.

You go to bedrock. If you don’t put the structure on bedrock, you’re asking for trouble when you’re anywhere near Crabtree Creek,” she said.

She hopes the second time’s the charm, and she’s willing to wait for it.

“I’d rather it be done right than halfway done,” she said.

The city says it’s had a tough time finding a detour around the closure because of negotiations with private property owners.

Raleigh City Councilman David Cox says he’s going to bring up the boardwalk closure at the next council meeting.