Hello Asheville bicyclists! Do you use the velodrome in Carrier Park? Then you’ll want to know about upcoming improvements to the track.
At its Jan. 24 meeting, Asheville City Council authorized City Manager Gary Jackson to begin this project with an engineering contract. That kicks off the velodrome resurfacing project, slated for completion sometime this fall.
Parks & Recreation Landscape Architect Pete Wall is the project manager. From February through April Wall will work with a consultant on an architectural and engineering design and set up the construction bidding process. Plans call for construction to begin this summer. The project will include:
- Re-grading and resurfacing of the track surface;
- Installation of new lighting for the track;
- Installation of new fencing;
- Clean-up of the outer wall and guardrail;
- Re-grading and shaping the interior edges of the track to blend with the other existing recreation activities and improve drainage; and
- Interpretive and informational signs.
The velodrome is on what used to be Asheville Speedway race track. The track was built in 1960 and was in operation until 1999. Before it was a speedway, it was used as a horse race track! The park’s namesake, Edwin Carrier, built Carrier Race Track and Fair Grounds between the Sulphur Springs Railway and French Broad River around 1900.
So for more than a century, 32-acre Carrier Park has been a gathering spot for generations along the French Broad River. The City acquired the property in 1998. Now it’s used for roller hockey, lawn bowling, picnics, festivals and much more. With all that use, City staff has been working with City Council for opportunities to upgrade and improve this park. In 2016, the multi-use restroom building was renovated, and the basketball court and roller hockey rink were improved. The City added another sand volleyball court, due to popular demand, increasing our total to three courts.
Now it’s the velodrome’s turn. And there will inevitably be some down time for bicyclists to get this job done. The goal is to not disrupt Carrier Park any more than necessary.
“We anticipate keeping the bridge and interior portions of the park open during the majority of the construction; however there may be temporary closures,” said Wall.
The budget for the Carrier Park Velodrome Safety Project is $1.1 million.
What exactly is a velodrome?
A velodrome is an arena for track cycling. Modern velodromes feature steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights. The straights transition to the circular turn through a moderate easement curve