|Newly Paved Trinity River Bike Path, November 1st, 2012|
This trail is advertised to run from Sylvan Avenue to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail and run a little over 4 miles in length. Connecting various city parks, an overlook and future bridge crossings, the trail will be useable by many different neighborhoods on both sides of the river.
The trail was first announced in mid-August and construction was to be funded by 2012 bonds. Maybe that funding source changed and construction was able to proceed much sooner than thought. With a slated completion date of 2014, this first leg of a Trinity River trail is a welcome surprise.
|Trinity River Trail meandering along south bank of Trinity River Dallas, Texas|
The frustration was shared by many and became the butt of many jokes. Thoughts turned sour when the Trinity River "parkway", which we all though was a way-to-the-park, was really East Coast Yankee lingo for a tollroad. Fooled us hayseeds!
|Construction workers sawing expansion joints in the new Trinity Trail|
Hurricane Katrina exposed the soft under belly of the nation's aging levee system. The old levees that were over topped, undermined and failed in New Orleans were in many cases built to the same standards as the Dallas Levees. Dating back to the 1930s and built over a loose conglomerate of water permeable sand, the levees no longer met some of the flood protection guidelines set forth in a post-Katrina standard set by the Corps of Engineers. You could hear the money from the 1998 Bonds and the Trinity River Project just being sucked down the drain, tens of millions of dollars at a time with new requirements for flood protection. The money for fun stuff, the trails, parks and playgrounds evaporated.
|Trinity River Trail looking west towards I-35|
In addition to new flood protection standards, the Corps placed new requirements on construction in and around levee floodways. In Dallas, the floodway is designed to move water as efficiently as possible away from Central Dallas. Any new construction could not impede that. In order for the Corps of Engineers to approve a bike trail, it had to meet road standards, in this case 16 feet wide and thick enough for maintenance vehicles. The maintenance road aka multi use bike/hike trail is what we see under construction now.
|I-35 and Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge as seen from the new bike trail|
|Late season Mexican Hat Wildflowers as viewed from new Trinity River Trail|
|Corinth Street Viaduct and new Trinity Trail|