Planned half-mile extension will connect Frisco Trail to Walker Park

Map: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Get ready for another major addition to the Fayetteville’s trail system.

The City Council will likely approve (update: approved) a design contract Tuesday night with Garver, LLC for a southern extension of Frisco Trail that would stretch a half mile from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Walker Park.

No expected cost to the city

If all goes according to plan, the entire project could be complete with no cost to the city’s taxpayers. Funding for the design contract will come from two grant sources, said city engineer Chris Brown at last week’s Town Hall Meeting. The Home Depot Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation will each split the $189,500 cost, he said. But that’s not all. Both Brown and trails coordinator Matt Mihalevich said they expect the estimated $1.2 million construction cost to be fully-covered since the project is part of the Razorback Regional Greenway. “We like our money to go as far as possible,” said Mihalevich. “In this case, we might not need to use any city funds at all, which is really exciting.”

Tunnel under MLK

Work continues this week on the Meadow Valley Trail tunnel under Garland Avenue near Agri Park.

Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The project calls for a 140-foot tunnel to be constructed underneath Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Mihalevich said the tunnel will be similar to the precast concrete box tunnel currently under construction on Garland Avenue, but won’t require nearly as much time to build since it’s less than half the length. “We’ll have to temporarily close a couple lanes of traffic on MLK, but we think we can get it done without too much disruption,” he said.

Campus Crest to cover some costs

After southbound trail goers emerge from the tunnel at MLK, they’ll continue towards a student housing complex currently being built on the grounds of the old sale barn property. Campus Crest Communities is building another of its The Grove locations and in the process will construct a 500-foot section of Frisco Trail which will run along the perimeter of the complex towards South School Avenue.

Hybrid beacon crosswalk at South School Avenue

This crosswalk is one of more than 60 pedestrian hybrid beacon systems in Tucson, Ariz.

Mike Cynecki, via Federal Highway Administration

Although a $1 million trail bridge was considered at South School Avenue, significantly low vehicular traffic numbers led city staff to another crossing solution for the five-lane road. Mihalevich said traffic data indicates the stretch of road receives nearly half the traffic than MLK each day and that a pedestrian hybrid beacon crossing (see an example) would likely be built instead of a bridge or tunnel. The system is a cross between a traffic stoplight and a flashing-light crosswalk. The lights remain dark until a pedestrian presses a pushbutton to activate the system. Once activated, the lights flash a sequence of warning beacons followed by red “stop” lights, alerting motorists to stop.

Trail tie-ins

The project will extend the 7.6-mile stretch which includes Frisco, Scull Creek and Mud Creek trails and will create tie-ins with two planned trails in south Fayetteville: the Tsa La Gi Trail and the Town Branch Trail.

Full city proposal packet

Download this proposal packet