First identified as a project in the City’s Inspiring Spaces Plan, the Book Walk will be a multiuse pathway providing pedestrian and bicycle connectivity from the City Walk in Downtown Hickory, through the Ridgeview community, to U.S. 70.
In October 2019, City Council approved and accepted an agreement for professional services with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. for design services related to the Book Walk project. The Book Walk is currently under design.
Project Overview & Alignment
Book Walk is part of the larger Hickory Trail multiuse path system and bond program that seeks to increase quality of life for residents and spur economic revitalization by providing pedestrian and bicycle connectivity throughout the City. Book Walk will specifically provide this connectivity within the Ridgeview community and connect the Ridgeview community to Downtown Hickory and U.S. 70.
Book Walk Alignment
The Book Walk path will travel from the City Walk down South Center Street, west across City-owned property at the Historic Ridgeview Public Library, and south on 1st Street SW to the current Ridgeview Branch Library. The path will then go west on 7th Avenue SW past Ridgeview Recreation Center, before turning south and following 4th Street SW to U.S. 70 at the Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Book Walk proposes to construct a 1.2-mile, 10-foot wide multiuse path for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities, connecting residents to community amenities. Design plans for the Book Walk will be largely consistent with City Walk aesthetics, with one main difference. The Book Walk will be an asphalt path trimmed with concrete ribbons along the sides, whereas the City Walk will be constructed entirely of concrete.
The project also plans to incorporate historical markers along the route to recognize and celebrate people and places of historical significance in Ridgeview, as identified by community stakeholders. The proposed design will also incorporate and complement The Untouchables monument project planned for construction at the corner of 7th Avenue SW and 3rd Street SW.
The project will address pedestrian safety at intersections by adding pedestrian signals to existing signalized intersections along the route and proposed the addition of several high-visibility mid-block crossings near the Ridgeview Library Historic Site.
The City was awarded $5.2 million of federal Surface Transportation Block Grant – Direct Attributable (STBG-DA) funds towards the Book Walk project by the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) back in 2018. The City of Hickory and NCDOT are sharing the costs associated with the project. For funding purposes, the project is divided into two sections (EB-5937 and EB-5938), which are planned to be constructed as one project. Based on the 2020-2029 NCDOT STIP, the estimated project costs, which are subject to change, are:
Right-of-way acquisition is currently underway for the Book Walk project. The goal is to have the project out to bid by summer 2021.
* Project schedule and costs are preliminary and subject to change.