Show All Answers
VDOT will continue to maintain the existing secondary roads that will be a part of the trail corridor. The maintenance and management responsibilities of the remainder of the trail have not been determined at this point.
Pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian use is permitted along all of the proposed secondary route portions of the trail today which are considered low volume roadways. Many of these secondary routes are used today by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians without known incident. There are similar examples in the Commonwealth including the Roanoke River Greenway and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which include sections of both trails and secondary roads. Signage along the secondary routes will alert drivers to the possible presence of trail users on the road.
Botetourt and Craig Counties provide emergency services in those jurisdictions. State and local police would continue to provide law enforcement in those areas as they do today.
Hunting on private property would still be allowed. Hunters could not shoot across or from the rail corridor as is the case today. How close to the trail hunters could discharge firearms would be per local ordinances.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) considers roadways with less than 2,000 vehicles per day (vpd) to be a low volume, and roadways with less than 400 vpd to be very low volume. On the portions of the old rail line alignment that have been converted to state-maintained routes, VDOT anticipates that the trail will exist in a "share the road" scenario as is the case today.
The past 3 year accident history from 4/1/2020 to 3/31/2023 along the secondary route portions of the trail are:
VDOT intends to allow adjoining property owners who use the rail corridor as their only access to their properties today, based on their current use, to continue to use it. VDOT will consider a permit process to allow access to continue.
The trail will likely be gated in select locations to restrict use of unauthorized motorized vehicles. Other gates will restrict access to the general public in locations where private property owners access their property.
This is still being evaluated and will vary from trailhead to trailhead and will also be somewhat dependent on the ultimate number of trailheads that will be provided.
The counties are collectively planning to provide and maintain restrooms and trash receptacles at select trailheads.
Currently, people use the one-lane bridges along the state-maintained routes by implementing the "take your turn" method to determine who has the right of way to use the bridge at a given time. This same practice would continue. Some signage will likely be included in the project to further guide users as to how they should navigate these bridges.
Paving and widening of the existing secondary roads is not currently planned. Appropriate signage will be included.
Access to cemeteries will continue to be provided.
VDOT's intent is to allow vehicles to use the old rail line south of Oriskany during flooding or high-water events.
VDOT's Salem District Environmental Office has initiated environmental reviews and coordination to obtain information about environmental resources in the project vicinity, to provide natural and historic resource agencies an opportunity to review and comment on the project during its development, and to identify opportunities for avoidance, minimization and mitigation of potential environmental impacts. The project will continue to be coordinated with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies as part of various environmental review processes. All required environmental clearances and permits will be obtained prior to commencement of construction. Strict compliance with all environmental condition and commitments resulting from regulatory approvals, and implementation of VDOT's specifications and standard best management practices will protect the environment during construction.
The Commonwealth owns most of the land required for the trail; however, additional land and/or easements may be needed in some locations (trailheads, drainage outfalls, etc.). Typically, VDOT uses eminent domain as a last resort if VDOT and the property owner cannot come to an agreement.
Camping within the proposed trail boundary is not anticipated.
No, VDOT is not planning to fence the corridor. If desired or needed, adjacent property owners would be responsible for fencing their properties.
The Oriskany area is close to the middle of the 26-mile trail corridor, making it an ideal location for people to park. Providing a parking area will allow trail users to have a designated option instead of using other public parking alternatives.