The Cities of Easley and Pickens agreed to purchase the Pickens “Doodle-line” Railway with the intent of exploring creation of an eightmile-long rail-trail in this corridor. The rail-trail would serve as transportation and a recreation amenity for residents and visitors, and enhance connectivity between the two cities. The rail corridor travels the Pickens line northwest out of downtown Easley, connecting Easley with Pickens and locations in between. The railroad terminus is at the Norfolk Southern exchange in Easley.
Blake prepared a master plan study that provided an existing conditions evaluation, inventory and assessment of site features, site planning, conceptual trailhead design, and cost estimates for implementation. To provide context for the study, Blake looked at a similar project, the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville. The Doodle rail-trail could have similar economic and regional impacts. The conversion of the Doodle line to a rail-trail was recommended in the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Plan Long Range Transportation Plan, the City of Easley Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan (2011) and the City of Pickens Downtown Master Plan (2013).
Blake was selected by City of Easley and Pickens officials to complete a design-build effort for the Doodle Rail- Trail. Implementation began in January 2015 and was completed on time and 30% under budget by May of the same year. Blake has since been selected to provided full design and engineering of Doodle Park and the greenway extension into Downtown Easley, as well as branding development, wayfinding signage, safety analysis, and spur connections into neighborhoods and other commercial districts.
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