Earlier this year the Dallas Design District TIF agreed to hand over $400,000 for enhancements to the already funded Trinity Strand Trail, a project that has been generating a lot of buzz for the neighborhood. Since the city is getting close the next phase of construction, here is a brief introduction to and update on whats coming up for the Strand.
In 2002, a group of Dallasites formed the Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail to steward the planning, construction and enhancement of a 7.8-mile hike and bike trail along the original Trinity River watercourse, right next door to downtown Dallas. All of Dallas will benefit from the addition of another opportunity for the city to get outdoors, but few neighborhoods will benefit as much as the Dallas Design District. With two trailheads right in the middle of the neighborhood, the Design District is in the heart of the project.
Heres a map detailing the master plan for the project, which was finished in 2011 and shows one of the most exciting aspects of the project: its connection to the very popular Katy Trail. The Strand will connect area hotels, DART, medical facilities, businesses and residences, allowing Dallasites to bike to work, back home or even out to eat.
Early steps in the process included construction of two trail heads. One is located at the end of Hi Line Drive and was completed in 2009. If you spend time in the neighborhood you’ve probably noticed the trail head sign just down the street from The Meddlesome Moth. Another early step was the completion of Turtle Creek Plaza in 2010.
Additionally, the Design District TIF approved funding of a soft-surface trail to run alongside a 2-mile section of the already funded concrete trail.
What’s next? Phase 1! The city is currently examining construction bids for Phase I of the trail, which includes 2.5 miles of path starting at the intersection of Oak Lawn and Stemmons Freeway and ending at Farrington Street. Construction is projected to begin in late fall of this year.
While there is still a ways to go, the Trinity Strand Trail team is definitely making progress.
The cooperative effort it has taken to get this done and the thoughtful nature the projects founders are giving to the ecological restoration of such a rich, yet historically neglected area, is exciting and inspiring. Almost all of the land for the Strand has been donated and due diligence is being done to restore the indigenous plants alongside the trail. The Trinity Strand Trail promises to not only be good for our health, but a project that will enhance our already beautiful city.
More updates to come as construction begins and the next phases get finalized. If you want to stay up to date on the project, follow @trinitystrand on Twitter or like the Trinity Strand Trail on Facebook.