1st phase of Rock Island Greenway complete

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Mark Cross says the Rock Island Greenway is looking a lot better
these days.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News -

"You could not run here unless you watch your step very carefully," says Cross.

For years, the trail was filled with mud pits, making it almost impossible to walk on. Now, people can hardly stay away, and the trail
isn't just being used to stay in shape..

"Early in the morning, a car was coming straight at me and I was like I don't want to be doing this," says John Broocks.

Broocks rides his bike to work everyday and last year he had a near death experience. He says the the Rock Island Greenway is keeping him safe.

"It takes the most dangerous parts of my commute out, the busy part, where people can go fifty five miles per hour down that service road," says Broocks.

Ammen Jordan, Ruston's Director of Development says
that's the point, but he says the Greenway is more than just
a safer way to travel.

"It's the conversion of the historic rock island railroad in to a
shared use path, which is going to run the entire length of the city,
connecting neighbors, parks, schools and businesses on its way south," says Jordan.

Jordan says by 2020, over fifty percent of Ruston's households
will be connected to the trail.

Good news for people who would rather travel by foot, and great news for people who are looking for a challenge.

"I'm eager to have the whole Greenway open, if it's six miles North
to South, that's a half marathon, let's make it as long as it can be," says Cross.

The Rock Island Greenway is all part of the mayor's Moving Ruston Forward Initiative and is funded through the sales tax passed last year.