WNCT9: Riverwalk planned for Kinston

By Andrew Ruiz, Digital Journalist – email

KINSTON, N.C. -Like a slow drip, things take time—time the city of Kinston and various partners are using to propel the city forward.

“If it was up to me this project would have been done yesterday,” Mayor BJ Murphy said.

9 On Your Side sat down with Murphy and Lenoir County Chairman Craig Hill to talk about the development on the Kinston promenade.

It is a proposed $3 million water front project—they say will help make Kinston a tourism destination.

“We see the momentum in Kinston growing. We are becoming a destination and people are coming here to spend money and what better way to extenuate our natural river than actually have a river walk that incorporates two of the best attractions in our community,” Murphy said.

The Kinston promenade is a river front trail that connects the Neuse River corridor to downtown. It is around 2.4 miles long. Plans call for a multi-use path from the Tiffany West Veterans Park to the Caswell Center.

The current conditions of trails are poor and leaders say if done right, renovations could spur future development.

“The areas that they did it well, is where you see tremendous growth,” Chairman Hill said.

About $1.2 million are available. Sources like the Department of Transportation, Parks and Rec. Dept and State Trails committee are willing to help fund the project.

“If we do it right, then it’s going to attract more people, more investments, more sales tax dollars into our community and that is why we want to accentuate this river,” Murphy said.

The Kinston Promenade project is in line with the state’s mountains to sea trail program, a 1,000 mile long trail that stretches from the Smokies to the Outer Banks.