Design work for the Northaven Trail’s second phase should be complete in about a year with construction scheduled to begin in early 2016.

The next portion extends west from Preston as far as the current funding will take it. City officials are projecting Midway Road. The trail eventually will reach all the way to the Walnut Hill/Denton Drive DART Station, as mapped out in the Dallas Trail Network. With the eastern connection across Central Expressway, trail users could go from the Elm Fork sports complex to White Rock Lake.

The city approved funding in the 2012 bond program. The second phase costs about $3 million, through a partnership with the city and Dallas County.

“What we find is really that trails knit communities together. That’s what’s starting happen in North Dallas,” said District 11 Councilman Lee Kleinman at last night’s neighborhood meeting. “Sixty to 70-percent of the city’s green space is south of Downtown. We have to use whatever corridors we can.”

Right now, the trail essentially is two miles of linear park, running mostly along the Oncor easement. The trail is poised to be the city’s primary east-west hike and bike trail.

Trails are the best tool for acquiring public green space around Preston Hollow, said District 13 Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates.

“We can’t gain park land any other way.”

The Friends of the Northaven Trail hosted the informational meeting with the Parks Department at Grace Bible Church to provide updates on the next phase.

Some residents had hoped to see the project accelerate faster. One neighborhood dad asked if there was any way to fast-track the construction of the Preston Road crossing, so that those on the west side could at least access the eastbound trail. Gates and representatives from the Parks Department and Public Works said they could consider the option.

More specific questions about crossings (including the Bachman Branch Creek) as well as possible alley reconstructions will be answered during another meeting in spring of 2014.

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