Parks board prefers tunnel at Frisco Trail and MLK

Vehicles drive along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the current dead-end point of Frisco Trail Thursday morning.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Another panel put its stamp of approval on sending Frisco Trail users under Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Monday voted unanimously to recommend building a 140-foot, lighted tunnel under the state highway as part of an upcoming project that will extend the trail south to Walker Park.

For more detail on the three options being considered, see our June 8 story.

Graphic: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

It’s now up to the City Council’s Street Committee to make a final decision during its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

A tunnel has also been endorsed by city staff, project engineers, the Active Transportation Advisory Board and 50 out of 73 residents who responded to a public survey in June.

The tunnel would be built exclusively for the trail, similar to the 270-foot tunnel that was just completed under Garland Avenue (see photos here) for the newly opened Meadow Valley Trail.

Other options to cross the roadway include an at-grade crossing and a 20-foot-tall bridge with 310-foot ramps on each side.

Matt Mihalevich, city trails coordinator, has estimated the costs to be about $1.3 million for a tunnel, $1.6 million for a bridge and $960,000 for an at-grade crossing.

Grants from The Home Depot Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation are set to cover the design of the project, and construction costs are to be paid using grant money from the NWA Regional Planning Commission for use on the planned Razorback Regional Greenway, a 36-mile trail that will connect south Fayetteville to north Bentonville.