The Trinity Strand Trail will someday run about eight miles from the old Trinity River channel, pass under Stemmons Freeway and out of the Design District, lope alongside Turtle Creek, loop beneath the DART/TRE tracks and the Tollway, then link up with the Katy Trail.
That's the plan, at least, but all that's a long way off. Right now, efforts are focused on the first two miles and even then, a decade after Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail was established, there's not a foot of it. "We have two trailheads but no trails," Shelly White, executive director of the Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail, told me Friday.
Yep. Ten years in, and there's still just a couple of trailheads. Things are moving forward though, even if you can't really see it yet. Construction money, more than $5 million in grants and bond funds, is in the bank. Studies have been done, plans drawn. The big holdup has been convincing a dozen or so property owners to donate portions of their land for the trail then working through City Hall to make it all official. That's all done now, and the city has submitted a request for proposals. White's hoping construction wraps up within a year.
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But first, an addition. While the planning has been going on, developers have been gathering land on the opposite side of channel from the trail (it will cross the channel at Wycliff Avenue) and would love to have the trail run behind their property. It was decided that these would be soft surface instead of concrete, and last week, FOTST went before the Dallas Design District tax-increment financing board to ask for $500,000 for another two miles of trail.
The TIF board gave the project the go-ahead, so now it's onto the City Council. Meanwhile, White's waiting for the bids to roll in.
"We've been around for 10 years, and we've gotta start building a trail," she said. "It's so frustrating."