ATT

ATT Parking at Chatham--Good Things Coming Fairly Soon

Over the past few months both TRTC and Cary's Parks & Recreation Department have been busy on trying to develop solutions to the serious parking limitations facing trail users at the three crossings in Chatham. We're happy to report that over the next few months users will have access to two new parking areas in Chatham. At the New Hope Road crossing, Cary has recently widened and graded a portion of the utility access road located just east of the trail crossing. Here is a recent view of this interim area. After final surface materials and rolling have been completed in the next month or two, Cary plans to open this area for use as interim parking for trail users. As we have reported earlier, Cary plans for the ATT include a much larger, permanent parking area off of New Hope Church Road to be built in 2013. At Pittard-Sears Road, TRTC has received permission from NCDOT to develop a parking area on a parcel on the north side of Pittard-Sears Road (on the west side of the ATT). Preparing this parcel will require removal of some trees, grading of the section to be used for vehicle parking, and construction of a wide, asphalt apron. A short connector path to the ATT will be built at the north end of the lot. Warm weather users of the Chatham ATT will be glad to know that our plans for Pittard-Sears include putting in a water fountain! We are currently seeking contractor proposals for the major clearing and grading work and hope to break ground by March. This will be our largest project for the next few months so we'll also be holding workdays for our volunteers at this area. We'll be letting our volunteers know the specifics for these workdays in our weekly Emails to trtc-volunteers. During the Spring of 2012 we'll have a number of workdays on this key project so if you are not yet on our list to receive Emails before our workdays, please go to our Volunteers page for sign-up links. Go to our Directions Page if you need driving instructions to the Pittard-Sears crossing.

ATT in Chatham Gets New Signs

In late December Cary installed the long-awaited crossing signs and a few signs to remind users to call out "On your left" when overtaking others on the trail. Signs identifying the ATT and the road being crossed have been installed at New Hope Church Road, Pittard-Sears Road and O'Kelly Chapel Road. Click here to see the New Hope Church Rd. sign.

Bid Process for ATT Phase E Delayed Until January

A wage dispute between the NCDOT and the U.S. Department of Labor has delayed the bid opening for this project. The dispute involves estimates the Labor Department uses to set wage rates for projects that use federal money, such as the long-awaited pedestrian/cyclist bridge near Southpoint Mall.

City Manager Tom Bonfield notified City Council members Thursday that the dispute won't be settled until after Jan. 1. Therefore, the bid opening scheduled for Dec. 15 has been pushed off until Jan. 25. To read more please see article in the News & Observer.com
Good News in late December: N.C. Department of Transportation officials have given Durham the all-clear to take new bids on Jan. 25 from contractors interested in building the bridge over I-40 and construction of ~4 miles of trail (Phase E of the ATT). DOT had tried to delay the use of new Federal wage guidelines on new projects until later in 2012 but has now decided to let Durham proceed with this procurement. For more on this story please see the recent Herald-Sun article To see planning and bid documents and periodic reports on the status of Phase E, you may want to access the City's web site.

Re-bid for ATT Bridge and Trail to Start in November

Durham staff have announced that the second bidding documents will be released to potential bidders on November 15th and a bidders Q&A session is set for November 30th. Bid opening by the City has been set for December 15th. Assuming at least one proposal comes in within the increased funds now available, this could allow an Award to be made in the February-March period. To keep up with the status of these efforts please check in on the City's web site.

ATT 10 Miler Set for Saturday October 22

Only about four weeks until the 2011 ATT 10 miler! The North Carolina Road Runners Club created the American Tobacco Trail 10 Miler in 2007 to raise awareness and support for the growing trail system throughout the Triangle. Proceeds from these races will help American Tobacco Trail development and maintenance through the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy. Packet pick-up for race participants will be held at the White Oak Church Road parking area from 7:30 to 8:30am and parking there will be very limited during the morning hours. The trail will still be open to the general public on race morning for hiking, biking, recreational running and for equestrian use but we are urging all users to be mindful of trail etiquette. For more information on the race including volunteer opportunities, please go to the NC Roadrunners site. If you want to join TRTC's volunteers on race day, please go to the Volunteer Form for this race

Officials Reach Agreement on Supplemental Funding for ATT Phase E Projects

In a September 14th meeting, the Durham-Orange Transportation Advisory Committee considered several options for additional funding and have opted to use ~3.5 million$ from a reserve fund which had been set aside to cover cost overruns, small and county transportation projects, and initiatives for Triangle Transit. An earlier proposal to reallocate funds that had been set aside for future sidewalks in Durham was turned down after serious concerns expressed by Durham representatives. Officials from the two counties agreed it made sense to use the reserve given that the tobacco trail’s completion has been threatened by a budget shortfall. “It’s a regional project that affects the central part of the State, and we need to move forward,” Durham City Councilman Mike Woodard said, after Mayor Bill Bell and Councilwoman Diane Catotti had also signaled support for using the money. The decision must now be approved by the Durham/Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization. Some changes to the specifications for the bridge are being considered such as allowing the contractor to have 18 rather than 9 months to assemble components for the bridge. No date has been set for start of the second bidding but if MPO approval can be settled in 30-60 days this could happen by the first of the year. It now appears construction will not start until sometime in the Spring.

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