BIG STONE GAP – The town is planning phase five of the Greenbelt.

According to Lane Group engineer Stephen McElroy, the town is currently working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to develop a project schedule. McElroy stated that mapping should be prepared by the end of the week and surveying should start the week of July 15.

The trail extension will begin at the head of the existing trail in Bullitt Park and follow along the Powell River, then cross the river at some point before the fire department building.

In June 1959, several people were injured by the collapse of the swinging bridge that went from Bullitt Park across the Powell River to Aviation Road. Witness accounts state that there were nearly 30 people on the bridge at the time. More than 5,000 people were at Bullitt Park that day for the annual Tri State Singing Competition.

Vice Mayor Nancy Bailey stated that when she first ran for council 13 years ago, she was asked by residents if another bridge could be put across the Powell River at the park. “It took 13 years to get it done,” Bailey said.

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