Roanoke River Greenway-Underhill is the final section of Roanoke River Greenway to be built in the City of Roanoke. The 2018 Roanoke Valley Greenway Plan identifies Roanoke River Greenway as the “backbone of the regional greenway and trail network” and this project finishes the backbone in the City. Once complete, Roanoke River Greenway will stretch uninterrupted for almost 14 miles in the City of Roanoke, providing a safe and efficient alternative transportation and recreation corridor for those on bike and foot.
This project is also the connection to the Roanoke River Greenway sections that are in Engineering and Right of Way phases with Roanoke County. Once Roanoke County and VDOT complete those projects, Roanoke River Greenway will connect to Explore Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway and provide multi-modal options for residents in Eastern Roanoke County to get to the rest of the Roanoke Valley. This project also connects to Tinker Creek Greenway, which connects to Glade Creek Greenway and the Town of Vinton. Tinker Creek Greenway Phase 2 is currently under construction in Northeast Roanoke and will help connect Blue Hills Industrial Park and Northeast residents to the rest of the Roanoke Valley by bike and foot.
As the City of Roanoke has grown to over 100,000 residents in the recent census, these connections and options for alternative transportation become even more important in the Roanoke Valley. Future growth in Roanoke with the revitalization of the American Viscose Plant in Southeast Roanoke and continued greenway construction in the Town of Vinton on Glade Creek Greenway, the City of Roanoke on Tinker Creek Greenway, and Roanoke County on Roanoke River Greenway only will increase usage and demand on this important off road connection.
The current status of this section of “greenway” is on road with wayfinding signs. There are no sidewalks but the roads are low traffic. Underhill Road is steep, even for a seasoned cyclist or runner, and does not meet ADA standards. This project makes the entirety of this section off-road, with several road crossings that are well marked and well-lit. The grade is significantly reduced in the area around Underhill Road as the greenway is routed through private land at a much lower average grade.
Design Consultant Contacted late 2022
In 2023, this project is funded for the Engineering phase and the Right of Way phase and both are underway. The Construction phase is unfunded, but City staff are actively exploring funding options.
Expected Construction 2024-2026