Well, it’s been over a month since the Ribbon Cutting on June 2, and now it looks like the Central Trail (southern extension) is almost complete. It seem like we went weeks with no progress on the few remaining gaps. Now, all that’s left are a few curb finishes, where it crosses Polk Street.
There is also some great news with the trail extension, just north of Arapaho Road. The ‘bonus’ connection to the DART Arapaho station is really taking shape. The forms are up and you can see the full length of that section.
For those of you wondering how they intend to connect the trail to the train platform, that mystery has been answered. They are installing a small bridge that goes over the sub-Greenville Avenue tunnel ramp. Now you can connect directly from the trail to the Aprapho Station platform without having to cross to the entrance on the other side of Greenville.
According to last week’s city newsletter “Week In Review”, the Central Trail extension is nearing completion:
The expansion of the Central Trail is about 90 percent complete, and the City plans to celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon cutting June 2. The 1.9-mile southern expansion connects the 10-foot wide multiuse trail from the Arapaho Road DART Station to Richardson’s southern city limit. A future connection in the City of Dallas is expected to eventually tie it into the White Rock Creek Trail. The $4.5 million project is funded through Dallas County, $1.4 million from the City of Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program and Regional Tollway Revenue funds.
The City is also working to expand the Central Trail half a mile to the north to Richardson’s northern city limit. The existing trail ends at Renner Road, but the expansion will tie in to the CityLine development and eventually connect to the Plano trail system. The $1.8 million northern expansion is funded through Regional Tollway Revenue and the City’s Tax Increment Finance Zone #2. It is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015 and will allow the trail to run from city limit to city limit.
Watch a City Council work session presentation about progress on the Central Trail at bit.ly/1lDwyxu.
We can’t wait to ride this. It’ll be fantastic once cyclists are able to ride from the north end of town, eventually to the White Rock Creek Trail and into Dallas.
We’ve been following the progress on the Central Trail South (what we are calling the DART Trail section between Arapaho Road and 635 LBJ) and we are seeing some great progress. The last time we checked, the biggest barrier – which was building the trail over some creeks and drainage systems (between Belt Line Road and Spring Valley Road) – was requiring some major, time consuming construction.
From our latest inspection over the past weekend, we discovered that most of that construction is complete. All that remains, of the full trail extension, are just a few small pockets of missing trail, as well as the final, finishing touches. We’re hoping these are finished soon.
We’ve also discovered a new addition to the Central Trail south – trail construction NORTH of Arapaho. You may remember us pointing out the ‘gap’ in the original plans for the trail extension, back in 2010. We were concerned that the connection to the south extension was nothing more than a narrow sidewalk. We are glad that this issue was addressed and they are now continuing the wider trail from Arapaho Road, all the way to Arapaho Station. We would love to see that gap eventually connect to the north part of the Central Trail.
We’ve been keeping an eye on the construction of the southern extension of the Central Trail.
Central Trail is the trail that runs parallel to Central Expressway, along the DART Rail Red Line tracks. Currently, it starts at Renner Road at Routh Creek Parkway (where it connects to the Spring Creek Trail), and runs south to DART’s Arapaho Center Station – well, sort of. In our opinion, it really stops at about Alma Road, and becomes a sidewalk, along Greenville, until it reaches Arapaho Center Station. Read more about that here.
This new addition is designed to extend Central Trail south, from Arapaho Road to Buckingham Road – at the city limit. Future extensions will eventually connect it to the White Rock Creek Trail. We were also given some information that lead us to believe that the trail extension will connect to the Arapaho Center Station train platform, instead of the bus transfer station on the east side of Greenville Road. That would be fantastic if it actually happens.
Once this extension is complete, people will be able to walk or ride their bikes to three of the four DART train stations in Richardson (Spring Valley, Arapaho Center and Galatyn Park). The Bush Turnpike Station will have to wait for a future extension.
Here are some pics and descriptions of the current progress:
This shot was taken at the southwest corner of Arapaho Road And Greenville Avenue. You can see the DART tracks to the right and Greenville Avenue to the left.
This shot was taken a bit further south along Greenville Avenue. As you can see, they’re making every effort to save the trees.
This shot was taken even further south along Greenville Avenue. Here you can see how the trail will coexist with the DART Red Line.
This pic was taken just south of the Jackson Street crossing.
As you can see, the trail isn’t ready to ride.
As the trail approaches Belt Line Road, it actually crosses under the DART Rail track overpass.
This is where the trail will cross Belt Line Road. The city has decided that the light at Interurban will be the best place to cross.
Once across Belt Line Road, the trail is lost at this parking lot entrance. It eventually begins again at the rail underpass.
The trail construction seems to end at Polk Street.
I rode a bit further south to find this bridge being built at Phillips Street. Not seeing a current plan, I can only guess that this will have a roll in the extension of Central Trail.
I didn’t get a chance to ride down to Spring Valley Station. I’ll try to get down there next weekend to check on any progress down there.
From the City of Richardson weekly newsletter:
The City Council on Monday awarded a bid of $3.4 million to Ed Bell Construction Company to extend the Central Trail 1.9 miles from the Arapaho Road DART Station to the southern city limit. Construction of the 10-foot wide concrete multiuse trail is expected to begin in April and last for about one year.
The $4 million project is funded through Dallas County and the City of Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program. The lowest bid to construct the trail came in about $400,000 over budget, so the City removed some amenities such as irrigation systems, landscaping, and benches to be constructed in a possible second phase at a future date. The City also hopes to use $600,000 in Regional Tollway Revenue funds awarded for the Central Trail to help enhance the project.
The Central Trail currently runs from the Spring Creek Trail in north Richardson and ends at the Arapaho Road DART Station. The extension will run alongside the DART rail line and is planned to eventually connect with the Richardson city limit to the south and a future connection to the Dallas’ White Rock Creek Trail.
Watch the City Council presentation at http://bit.ly/V6oiYQ.
We are extremely excited that this is happening and we’d still like to see the small gap in the plan addressed.
BFR friend Magnus, sent us a reminder about the City of Richardson’s Central Trail South Public Meeting. Here are the details:
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING
The City of Richardson
Parks & Recreation Department
CENTRAL TRAIL SOUTH PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Richardson Civic Center / City Hall
411 W. Arapaho Rd., Richardson, TX 75080
The meeting will provide public input for the design and construction of the south Central Trail project. DART right-of-way from Arapaho Road to Buckingham Road.
Download the notice. We hope to make it out there and hope you can too.