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News Archive 2000 to April 2008

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American Tobacco Trail
2010 Map of Durham Section

2010 Map of Chatham & Wake Sections


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Founded in 1989, the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy (TRTC) is a state chartered non-profit, organization. Its purpose is to work with local and state government officials to preserve local abandoned railroad corridors for future transportation and other interim uses such as recreational trails.


The TRTC works within the Triangle J Council of Governments Service area of Durham, Orange, Wake, Chatham, Johnston, and Lee counties. The 22-mile American Tobacco Trail project (ATT) is TRTC's most ambitious current project. TRTC maintains a key role in the ATT planning effort. TRTC hosts periodic meetings of the Trail Management Committee, made up of state and local government officials, corporate advisors and interested citizens.

As design and development ensues, TRTC will help publicize progress on the project through regular meetings, at environmental fairs, though newsletters and at workshops.

TRTC is currently developing user maps for the ATT and is continuing to organize volunteers to help local governments implement the trail.

We accept individual and corporate donations, and maintain a database of supporters and volunteers. TRTC is a partner with but a separate organization from, North Carolina Rails-Trails.

Please join us in preserving these resources before they are lost forever. Help us put abandoned rail corridors back into use as recreational trails now and for use by generations to come.

A Trail in Progress

The three-mile Eagle Spur is fully open. Grading and paving of the 6.8 mile City of Durham section north of I-40 began in May 1999 and the first 3.2 miles were opened for public use on June 3, 2000. Work on the second major section of the ATT from near Hillside H.S. to NC 54 commenced in the Fall of 2001. Completion of this section and a connecting trail paralleling Riddle Road was completed in August, 2002. Opening ceremonies for these second phases were held on September 28, 2002. Pictures from both the June 2000 and the September 2002 opening ceremonies can be viewed in our Photos section (Sections 3 & 9). The southern section of the ATT (from south of the Streets of Southpoint to Northeast Creek) is being developed by "Friends of the American Tobacco Trail" using ambitious volunteer efforts and a grant provided to TRTC by Durham County.
Wake County held a public hearing in July 1998 and is making good progress in resolving the concerns of adjacent landowners, developing plans, and acquiring County and State grant funds for the multi-year development of the Wake section. A lease for the Wake section was signed by the County and NCDOT in the Fall of 2001. Construction of the southern 3.75 miles of the Wake section and re-decking of the 3 Wake County bridges were initiated in September 2002. This initial Wake section was formally opened for use in August 2003. A master Plan for the for the Chatham County section was completed and adopted late in 2001. Local funding was not then available for the Chatham section and ultimately was provided by Federal funds sponsored by Congressman Price in 2005 and 2006. Due to lack of a construction engineering staff, Chatham has delegated responsibility for design to North Carolina's Dept. of Transportation. Oversight of construction is being handled by the Town of Cary's Parks Dept. Cary has retained a contractor to assist in these efforts. A Request for Proposal for the actual construction is scheduled to be issued by June 2008.
Thanks to the joint efforts of  volunteers, government staff and officials, real progress continues.

TRTC has coordination meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Woodcroft Professional Center on Woodcroft Parkway in Durham.

For more information on meetings, events or other programs of TRTC please contact: Bill Bussey (545-9104), Curt Devereux (544-3948) or Dave Connelly 544-6372 .

For questions or suggestions concerning our web site please contact Curt Devereux (544-3948) our webmaster.

Rails to Trails: The Time is Now

The transportation network of our country has changed dramatically over the years. At one time, nearly everything moved by railroads. Now, because of competition from the automobile and trucking industries, and the construction of a vast highway infrastructure, railroads are being abandoned. But, what of the future?

As metropolitan areas like the Triangle continue to grow, the concentration of population and construction of commercial development eventually will reach a point where highways will become too congested for efficient travel. This is exemplified by the current increase in traffic congestion on Interstate 40 through Research Triangle Park during the morning and evening commuting hours.

Old Rail Corridors Make Great Trails

ATT On the ATT in Durham on Opening Day
  Utilizing railroads for mass transit systems may become necessary in the next century. Why not preserve the existing railroad corridors and avoid condemnation of private land for government projects?

Once preserved, why not use these relatively flat, straight corridors for alternate transportation through bicycle commuting and recreational trails? These are not unique or radical ideas. Rail-trails efforts are active and successful throughout the country.

Currently, the TRTC is actively seeking volunteers and contributions. If you would like to help, or you want to know more, please join us today by completing a membership form or joining us in workdays with Friends of the ATT

Partners Helping TRTC in Moving the Many Plans and Permits Required to Complete the ATT and Other Trails

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