Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, email@example.com, 804-786-5045.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 23, 2007
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, firstname.lastname@example.org
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-mile abandoned 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 becoming High Bridge Trail State Park.
?This donation has been highly anticipated,? said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr. ?People in Burkeville, Farmville, Rice, Pamplin City and other communities along the line are excited to see this historic and scenic resource protected. Thanks to Norfolk Southern?s donation and Governor Kaine?s support and involvement, it will also serve as a ?must see? attraction drawing visitors to the area.?
The High Bridge in Prince Edward County is the centerpiece of the proposed state park. Site of one of the last battles of the Civil War, the bridge is 2,400 feet long and towers 160 feet above the Appomattox River. It is the most prominent of numerous cultural and historic areas connected by the trail.
With the new deed in hand, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, managers of the Virginia State Park system, will begin to erect gates and signs at rail line access points to help control unauthorized use.
?While we are very excited about this donation, there is much work that needs to be done before this rail line becomes High Bridge Trail State Park,? said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. ?Thanks to the enthusiastic support of the communities along the trail, we have a master plan developed for the trail. But we now need to start the process of turning an abandoned rail line into a safe, well managed state park.?
DCR has received a transportation grant to assist with planning and securing the park property. Development and operational monies, plus staff must be secured before an opening date can be determined.
For more information on the High Bridge Trail State Park project, go to the DCR website at www.dcr.virginia.gov, click on ?Recreational Planning,? then ?High Bridge Progress Online.?