A recently secured state grant will help pay for a new section of paved trail near the northwest shore of Lake Fayetteville, it was announced last month.
The $75,000 Recreational Trails Program grant, administered by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, will go toward building a dedicated, half-mile path for pedestrians and bicyclists who currently share the stretch of trail with motorists entering and exiting the north shore parking area.
Mixing vehicles with joggers, walkers and bicycles is something city officials want to move away from with the growing popularity of Lake Fayetteville Trail.
“It’s been OK, but with the increased use we’re seeing there, we just felt it’d be much safer if we pulled them apart,” said Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator. “It’s so popular out there and it keeps increasing as we add more trails.”
Crews recently finished a one-mile southern extension of the paved trail, which was also paid for in part by an $80,000 trails program grant.
Work is set to begin on the new section sometime next year. Once complete, only the area around Veterans Park will remain a shared pathway. The remainder of the 5.5-mile loop will be completely separated from vehicular traffic.
North Fayetteville trail users can also look forward to another project in the works called Clear Creek Trail. The 3-mile trail is currently under construction as part of the 36-mile Razorback Regional Greenway from Bella Vista to south Fayetteville.
Once complete, Clear Creek Trail will provide an east-west connection to tie Lake Fayetteville Trail to Scull Creek Trail.
The estimated year-long construction of Clear Creek Trail began last fall.