Photo: Todd Gill
Cyclists and joggers will soon be able to cross Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard through a 100-foot-long tunnel, as part of a half-mile southern extension project that will connect Frisco Trail to Walker Park.
Work is set to begin shortly after City Council members approve a $1.4 million construction contract on July 16 with low bidder Boulder Construction of Fayetteville, the same company working on Clear Creek Trail.
The project, paid for using a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, is part of the Razorback Regional Greenway, a planned 36-mile trail that will stretch from Bella Vista to south Fayetteville.
The idea for the tunnel came after months of public meetings and discussions about how best to get trail users from one side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the other. Options considered included an at-grade crossing and a 20-foot-tall bridge. The tunnel received support from the Street Committee, Active Transportation Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the majority of residents who responded to a public survey last June.
The tunnel will be constructed exclusively for the trail, similar to the 270-foot tunnel under Garland Avenue on Meadow Valley Trail.
It will stretch from the north side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to an area near the Farmers Cooperative building. From there, the trail will pass The Grove apartments and then cross South School Avenue where it will connect to Walker Park and the planned Town Branch Trail. It’ll also tie into the 1.8-mile Tsa La Gi Trail which will extend west to Hollywood Avenue.