Drake Street Trail to help connect nearly 2,000 residences to greenway in Fayetteville

A car travels west along East Drake Street in Fayetteville on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Flyer photo/Todd Gill)

FAYETTEVILLE — A new trail connector will provide a safer path to the greenway for nearly 2,000 residences in the north central part of town.

City Council members on Tuesday accepted a $500,000 grant to construct the Drake Street Trail, which will run along East Drake Street from North College Avenue to the Razorback Greenway at Gordon Long Park.

The money was awarded to the city by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission through the state’s Transportation Alternatives Program in August. Funding for a required 20% match will come through the trail bonds program voters approved in 2019.

Matt Mihalevich, the city’s active transportation manager, said construction crews will use excess space in the 4-lane section of Drake Street to install a two-way protected trail that runs west before traveling through existing right of way and park land where Scull Creek Trail meets Gordon Long Park.

As part of the work, Drake Street will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes with either a continuous turn lane in the center or parallel parking on the south side. The final cross section is still to be determined based on public input, Mihalevich said.

Trail users will be separated from vehicles by a 6-inch-tall by 2-foot-wide concrete median with reflective posts, according to city documents. The street-level trail on Drake will transition to a 10-foot-wide concrete path at the street’s dead-end point en route to the park. The project will include construction of a 50-foot bridge across Scull Creek.

There are 1,958 residential units and 266 businesses within a half mile distance from Drake Street that currently do not have a direct connection to the greenway, according to a city memo.

Mihalevich said he expects the new connection to become an important active transportation corridor with the many employment destinations along College Avenue, and dense neighborhoods and apartments along Drake Street.

The City Council in November approved a $204,275 contract with Crafton, Tull & Associates for design of the project.

Completion of the work is estimated for late 2025.

Drake Street Trail

(City of Fayetteville)