Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-786-2292.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 23, 2007
NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S GIFT OF HIGH BRIDGE LINE COMPLETE
~ To become 34-mile High Bridge Trail State Park ~
RICHMOND – Norfolk Southern’s donation of a 34-mileabandoned rail line in Southside Virginia has been completed.The land transfer brings the rail line running through Nottoway,Cumberland and Prince Edward counties one step closer to becomingHigh Bridge Trail State Park.
“This donation has been highly anticipated,” saidVirginia Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant,Jr. “People in Burkeville, Farmville, Rice, PamplinCity and other communities along the line are excited to seethis historic and scenic resource protected. Thanks to NorfolkSouthern’s donation and Governor Kaine’s supportand involvement, it will also serve as a ‘must see’ attractiondrawing visitors to the area.”
The High Bridge in Prince Edward County is the centerpieceof the proposed state park. Site of one of the last battlesof the Civil War, the bridge is 2,400 feet long and towers160 feet above the Appomattox River. It is the most prominentof numerous cultural and historic areas connected by the trail.
With the new deed in hand, the Virginia Department of Conservationand Recreation, managers of the Virginia State Park system,will begin to erect gates and signs at rail line access pointsto help control unauthorized use.
“While we are very excited about this donation, thereis much work that needs to be done before this rail line becomesHigh Bridge Trail State Park,” said DCR Director JosephH. Maroon. “Thanks to the enthusiastic support of thecommunities along the trail, we have a master plan developedfor the trail. But we now need to start the process of turningan abandoned rail line into a safe, well managed state park.”
DCR has received a transportation grant to assist with planningand securing the park property. Development and operationalmonies, plus staff must be secured before an opening datecan be determined.
For more information on the High Bridge Trail State Parkproject, go to the DCR website at www.dcr.virginia.gov, clickon “Recreational Planning,” then “High BridgeProgress Online.”