Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Ask Matt ... when construction will start on Ecusta Trail

Q. When will they start construction of the Ecusta Trail?


   The 19-mile former railroad corridor is being developed by two governmental entities. The 11-mile section from Hendersonville to the Transylvania line is the responsibility of Henderson County and the balance of the line is being planned by the City of Brevard. At this time, only a six-mile stretch from S. Church Street in Hendersonville to Battlecreek Road in Horse Shoe in the Henderson County section has been undergoing formal design and engineering. In November of 2021, Henderson County appointed a 9-member Rail-Trail Advisory Committee, which is chaired by former state Rep. Chuck McGrady, also a current state Transportation Board member.

During 2022 the Committee has received updates on the progress of the planning by the engineering firm of Vaughn & Melton which has just merged with JMT, an engineering firm based in Maryland. On Jan. 11 of this year RTAC heard a report from JMT at what is called the 90 percent design point. Here are some of the key dates and elements of that report:

  • Most of the design drawings have been completed. The last 10 percent of design would be finished in the next few weeks and the RTAC was able to offer specific guidance to the engineers in a special called meeting last week.
  • During the next few months applications for permits from governmental agencies will begin. Examples include stormwater, erosion control and environmental.
  • Construction bids could be advertised by mid-April with construction beginning on the first six-miles in mid-July. A December 2023 completion date was estimated.
  • The trail is designed to be a 14-foot wide paved width east of White Pine Drive and 12 feet beyond. Six prefabricated steel bridges are proposed for each stream crossing.
  • Landscape features and safety features are built into the design. Amenities such as benches, signage and bike racks are also included in the plans but it was noted that not all amenities are grant eligible.

Chairman McGrady asked that Brevard Mayor Maureen Copelof be invited to the next RTAC meeting to extend the lines of communication since it is intended that the Brevard section mirror the Henderson County section when the entirety of the Ecusta Trail is eventually built.

* * * * *

Send questions to