The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation breaks ground on its newest amenity, The Glowline, at Jeff Robertson Park in Norfolk.
This first-of-its-kind amenity on the East Coast, The Glowline is an 800-foot luminous path. The concrete trail is embedded with light-sensitive aggregate stones that will absorb UV/UB sunlight during the day and glow an intense green during the night. The path will wrap the northwest playing fields in Jeff Robertson Park with the design pattern of a fiddlehead fern. Throughout the night, the light of the stones will fade and begin a natural recharging cycle each day.
Taylor Construction is installing this newest amenity for the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. Timmons Group engineered The Glowline, and WPA designed the fiddlehead fern stencil pattern outlined by the stones. The Glowline is funded through ERTF’s capital campaign and the generous lead sponsorship of Elizabeth River Crossings, operators of the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels.
“As a company, we are really prioritizing our environmental, social and governance impact here in the local community,” says Anna Bonet, CEO of Elizabeth River Crossings. “The health of the Elizabeth River and the vitality of this trail that surrounds it are very important to us. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of this one-of-a-kind project.”
Jeff Robertson Park was chosen as an ideal spot for The Glowline because it’s one of the least illuminated sections of the Elizabeth River Trail and because the park is beloved by the community. With the Weyanoke Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary on one end and the gateway to the railyard on the other, The Glowline pattern will mirror the greenery of the bird sanctuary creating a unique sense of place.
The project is expected to take about six weeks, and there will be detours in place around this section of trail during construction. For specific routing information, visit www.elizabethrivertrail.org.
“This has been a long-awaited project with countless hours of planning, glow stone tests, crowdfunding and the construction of 16-foot-long stencil patterns,” said Kindra Greene, executive director of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. “To be able to finally break ground after pandemic setbacks is so special. We are bringing something really magical to the community and envision The Glowline as a spot for family memory making. Look for a glow party in early fall to celebrate this new amenity.”
The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation’s mission is to promote, enhance and transform the Elizabeth River Trail into the most iconic urban riverfront trail in the country. The ERT runs 10.5 miles and connects businesses, historic attractions and 28 neighborhoods within a five-minute walk. The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections and 11 trailheads from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals along the Elizabeth River. Highlights include Harbor Park, Downtown Norfolk, Freemason Historic District, Sentara campus, Fort Norfolk, Chelsea, West Ghent, Lambert’s Point, Old Dominion University, Larchmont and Lochhaven. Major sponsors include Sentara and the City of Norfolk. For more information, visit www.elizabethrivertrail.org.