Crews are getting closer to completing a new trail that leads to Kessler Mountain Regional Park in south Fayetteville.
All but one section of work remains before trail users can begin traversing the area between the new park and the existing Town Branch Trail.
The 2.7-mile stretch of path follows the Cato Springs Branch while utilizing a series of crossings, underpasses, bridges and a tunnel as it heads southwest to the base of Kessler Mountain.
The work, which began in April, has come in several phases, with city crews responsible for about 1.7 miles of trail. Private contractors are in charge of another mile of trail, including a tunnel under Razorback Road and a bridge following the overpass at the Fulbright Expressway.
The tunnel and bridge over the expressway are both in place, but crews are still working to complete the pathway that leads across both major pieces of infrastructure. The final steps will be to complete a cutaway of a portion of the embankment under Interstate 49, install a retaining wall under the I-49 bridge, and pour the final stretch of concrete connecting the tunnel to the newly-poured trail that sprouts from the regional park.
Funding help for the project comes from a $150,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation for design costs as part of a plan to extend the 37-mile Razorback Greenway to the new regional park. The foundation followed that grant with $2 million in matching funds for construction of the new trail. The remaining $2 million needed came from the city’s trail development capital improvement program.
Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator, said the project is on track to be open in early 2018.
We snapped some photos headed south from Town Branch Trail this week. Below is what we came back with.