Community leaders from the Town of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village, Chimney Rock State Park, and Rutherford County gathered on Thursday, November 3rd to celebrate Lake Lure’s newest infrastructure project, the revitalization of the Lake Lure Town Center Walkway. Prior to the ribbon-cutting on the walkway, attendees gathered at the entrance to Lake Lure Beach for greetings and remarks by local officials.
The Lake Lure Town Center Walkway is a walking path of brick pavers that begins at Jack London Road near the ABC Store and crosses the Pool Creek Bridge, which extends to a floating boardwalk through the Washburn Marina. The walkway continues on toward Chimney Rock Village along US 64/74A through the Town of Lake Lure and across the historic Rocky Broad River Bridge, now called the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. Updates to the Pool Creek Bridge pillars and globe lights were also completed in tandem with the Walkway paving project by George Wittmer, owner of Lake Lure Properties. The pillars and globe lights were restored to their original designs from 1925, when the bridge was built.
This infrastructure project was integral towards increasing pedestrian connectivity in Rutherford County, as it provides walkability between the town center, town hall, and the Flowering Bridge. Additionally, local leaders have identified a pedestrian walkway connecting the Town of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village as a much-hoped for priority, and the Walkway revitalization is an important step forward in this process.
“There’s been a lot of talk about connectivity. That’s the key, connecting the two communities (Chimney Rock Village and Lake Lure) – and we’re so close! I just want to encourage the two communities to continue to work together and connect for the benefit of pedestrians, who are so important to every town’s vitality and health,” said Peter O’Leary, Mayor, Chimney Rock Village
Town of Lake Lure Mayor Carol Pritchett reinforced Mayor O’Leary’s statement, saying, “One thing that is very near and dear to our hearts is connecting Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village. So much of what’s being done here is the beginning of that connection. We have great plans moving forward to connect the Flowering Bridge to Chimney Rock Village – all these things we do are a part of that and we love it when a plan comes together!
The revitalization of the Lake Lure Town Center Walkway is part of the Rutherford Bound initiative and was funded entirely by a $50,000 grant from the Tourism Development Authority. As there was no funding match from the Town of Lake Lure, there were no taxpayer funds used for this infrastructure project.
“One of the things that’s been truly remarkable about the impact that the TDA and Rutherford Bound has had on all of us and our work in our communities is that we seem to be working together in the county with common plans. We’re looking at things that benefit both communities at the same time, thinking about how we can profit in one place from what’s done in the other, “ said Mayor Pritchett.