Work to begin on trail widening across Lake Fayetteville dam

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

FAYETTEVILLE — The most popular trail section in Fayetteville is getting some improvements.

Crews this week will begin work to replace a portion of the Razorback Greenway that runs across the Lake Fayetteville dam.

The 17-year-old asphalt surface is in poor condition, with visible cracks, bumps and chipped edges along the one-third mile stretch between the lake marina and the spillway bridge.

An early concept for the project proposed dividing the dam trail into two sections with bike traffic on one side and foot traffic on the other, but the final plan calls for widening the 12-foot path to 16 feet and replacing the aged asphalt with a concrete surface along the entire length of the dam.

During construction, trail traffic will be detoured along the east side of the trail loop which will add about one mile for people passing through the area on the Razorback Greenway.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

An in-house city trail construction crew is set to begin work on Tuesday, Jan. 4, and construction will likely take about four months to complete, said Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator. Mihalevich said the goal is to have the trail open and ready in time for warmer spring weather when trail usage is higher.

Overall usage counts show that the dam trail is the most-used trail segment in the Fayetteville system. Data collected in spring 2019 showed an average of 1,376 users per day or 41,280 users per month. An intercept survey from the same period showed that 43% of users were on a bicycle, 40% were walking and 13% were running.

The project includes $150,000 in funding through the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s Recreational Trails Program, which provides money for maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, and construction of new trails.