Mauldin City Council has taken the next step toward extending the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail into southern Greenville County.
City council voted Dec. 16 to approve a development agreement for the design and construction of a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 385. This action follows city council’s earlier commitment to develop the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail with the pedestrian bridge.
Through the development agreement, city council committed to contribute $5 million for the project which will be funded through currently available resources and debt via an installment purchase revenue bond.
Council’s funding approach for this initiative will not require a millage or tax increase, will preserve capacity under the city’s statutory debt limit and will not use property tax dollars, according to the city. Rather, the funding sources include hospitality and accommodations tax funds and funding the city receives annually from the Greenville Health Authority through Prisma Health.
“The Greenville Health Authority and Prisma Health are proud to support initiatives which enhance the health and well-being of the Upstate community,” the Greenville Health Authority and Prisma Health said in a statement. “As longtime supporters of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, we know what a difference access to it can make in our communities.”
City officials said the goal is to construct an extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail through Mauldin and on to Simpsonville and Fountain Inn. The pedestrian bridge, which will connect to the BridgeWay Station development, is necessary for the trail extension.
“This is more than a bridge,” said Councilman Taft Matney, chair of City Council’s Economic Planning and Development Committee. “This is the answer to leapfrogging 385 and connecting the Swamp Rabbit Trail with southern Greenville County.”
The city has already begun the process for the design and construction of a quarter-mile section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail across the street from Mauldin High School on East Butler Road. Bridge design is expected to begin in 2020, with the construction following thereafter.
Once construction starts, it is anticipated that it will take 12 to 18 months to complete.
“The bridge is but a first step in the city’s larger goal of establishing safe bike and pedestrian routes across other points in Mauldin, including its schools, parks, Cultural Center, City Center and other locations,” Mayor-Elect Terry Merritt said.