Even though there are orange feathers on the barrier of the NC 126 bridge, this is not designated FFST – yet. For the State to designate trail, it must be safe for users and this shoulder is not.
The County is working with NCDOT to come up with an efficient solution that is cost effective and keeps all users safe. One solution is to change the 12-foot vehicle lanes to 11-foot, shift all lanes over, change an outside barrier to be more narrow, keep a wide barrier between cars and hikers/bikers – and the result will be a shoulder that is wide enough and safe enough.
When asked why it cannot just be re-striped like the Linville Bridge – that bridge is newer, has higher railings and additional width that allowed for the creation of the bike/pedestrian shoulder with a simple restriping. The Canal Bridge is older with inadequate railing height and was built with a super elevated curve. Because of this and other factors, it cannot just be restriped.