Fluor funds Palmetto Trail bridge rehabilitation


Staff Report



Palmetto Conservation Executive Director Natalie Britt, left, accepts a check from Fluor Communications Manager Laura Ware to rehabilitate “Trestle #13” on the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail.


Courtesy photo

COLUMBIA — Palmetto Conservation will rehabilitate “Trestle #13” on the popular Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail this spring, thanks to funding and construction assistance from Fluor Corporation.

Palmetto Conservation Executive Director Natalie Britt accepted a check for lumber and supplies from Fluor Communications Manager Laura Ware. It was a perfect spring day for a hike on the rails-to-trail passage to Trestle 13 across Crims Creek near Pomaria.

“We are thrilled to have Fluor as our newest corporate partner,” Britt said, adding that PCF depends on partners to help fund projects such as rehabbing the trestle. “Maintaining the Trail’s many wooden bridges is a challenge because of high humidity and heat that cause them to rot.”

The 10.8-mile Peak to Prosperity Passage alone has 20 bridges, including the spectacular Broad River trestle at the Alston trailhead.

“We are excited to partner with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation to rehabilitate Trestle 13 along the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail,” said John Shepherd, Fluor V.P. and Site Director at V.C. Summer Units 2 & 3. “Fluor employs thousands of South Carolinians and has deep roots in the state from the Upstate to the Midlands to the Lowcountry. We are proud to invest in programs that enhance South Carolina’s natural resources and habitats.”

Fluor employees are planning a workday later this spring to rebuild trestle #13. They will work under supervision of a PCF trail coordinator and alongside the Palmetto Conservation Corps.

The wooden trail bridge will be rebuilt with new decking and guardrails, and will meet current standards of the U.S. Forest Service for trail bridge safety and sustainability. Best management practices for trail construction will assure the work has the least impact on sensitive habitats.

Peak to Prosperity Passage, which is a former Norfolk Southern Railroad right of way, is one of the Palmetto Trail’s 28 completed passages.

At present, the Trail traverses about 370 miles through 14 counties from mountains to sea — Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Richland, Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Berkeley and Charleston.

The finished Trail will extend about 500 miles from Walhalla in Oconee County to Awendaw in Charleston County.

The Palmetto Trail is South Carolina’s premier cross-state trail for hiking, backpacking, cycling, mountain biking, camping, and other active outdoor recreation. With multiple trailheads, the Trail is accessible from anywhere in the state for day trips, weekend jaunts, and longer treks.

Passages are typically fewer than 15 miles in length, but range from 1.1 to 47 miles and feature wilderness and backcountry paths, urban bikeways, greenways, rails-to-trail conversions, city sidewalks, and even the steps of the State Capitol.

The Trail crosses private and public lands, and connects state parks, national and state forests, Revolutionary War battlefields, county recreation areas, and the U.S. military post at Fort Jackson.

The scenic Palmetto Trail is one of 16 cross-state trails in the United States and is recognized regionally and nationally as a visitor-friendly attraction. The Trail inspires active, healthy living and showcases the state’s diverse natural beauty, fascinating history, and rich rural and urban culture.

For information and downloadable maps of Trail passages, and to become a supporter of the Palmetto Trail, visit www.palmettoconservation.org.

Palmetto Conservation Executive Director Natalie Britt, left, accepts a check from Fluor Communications Manager Laura Ware to rehabilitate “Trestle #13” on the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail.
http://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_fluorfundstrail.jpgPalmetto Conservation Executive Director Natalie Britt, left, accepts a check from Fluor Communications Manager Laura Ware to rehabilitate “Trestle #13” on the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail. Courtesy photo

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