Winding through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Huckleberry Trail is founded on a former railway that ran from the Merrimac Mine to Christiansburg and, after an extension, to Blacksburg. Its first mile opened in 1966. Now eight miles long, it meanders through woods, farmland, and developed areas, skirts Virginia Tech, and terminates at a connection to the National Forest trail network.

The asphalt-paved nature path has several convenient access points in Christiansburg, including the town’s recreation center, the high school, and the New River Valley Mall. The town is expanding the trail toward its downtown business district. Schnabel worked on a recently completed phase, Phase 2D, which extended the trail to the Food Lion Shopping Center on North Franklin Street.

We performed quality assurance services during pavement construction. We also provided forensic engineering via subsurface exploration to evaluate embankment and subgrade quality after portions of the new trail settled and experienced consequent damage. We drilled test borings and conducted laboratory testing to identify the cause of the settlement, and summarized our findings in a geotechnical engineering forensic report containing recommendations for mitigation of non-compliant fill.