Construction begins on Cato Springs Trail in south Fayetteville

Crews work Tuesday to build the new Cato Springs Trail just south of Treat Street off Razorback Road in south Fayetteville.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Construction began this month on Cato Springs Trail, a path that will link the city’s trail system to the new regional park being built in Fayetteville.

The 2.7-mile trail will connect to Town Branch Trail near Greathouse Park, and will follow the Cato Springs Branch while utilizing a series of crossings, tunnels, and a bridge as it heads southwest to the base of Kessler Mountain.

Funding for the project first began in 2014 when the Walton Family Foundation donated $150,000 toward design costs as part of a plan to extend the 37-mile Razorback Greenway to the new regional park. The foundation followed that grant last month with $2 million in matching funds for construction of the trail. The remaining $2 million needed will come from the city’s 2016 trail development capital improvement program.

The work will come in several phases, with city crews completing about 1.7 miles of pathway. Private contractors will add another mile of trail, including tunnels under Razorback Road and Interstate 49 and a bridge over the Fulbright Expressway.

Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator, said if all goes according to plan, the new trail will be open by the middle of next year.