Photo by Kim Leeson

Northaven Trail: Photo by Kim Leeson

Neighbors examine plans for the Northaven Trail extension: Photo by Valirie Morgan

Neighbors examine plans for the Northaven Trail extension: Photo by Valirie Morgan

The second phase of the Northaven Trail is in the early stages of planning and design, with officials and organizers focusing on funding and continued development of the trail plans. Final designs depend on funding as well as community input.

Phase Two implements the westward expansion of the Northaven Trail, and planners hope to extend the trail from Preston to at least Midway. Construction on Phase Two of the Northaven Trail could begin in 2016. Much of the extension hinges on whether the project receives grant money.

“We’re in the conceptual part now. Once we get into preliminary we get a better cost estimate,” said Jared White, a transportation planner with the city. “We want funding all the way to Denton Drive, that’s our goal.”

There is about $3.5 million of available funding. Dallas County has some funds pending and there is also a matching contribution slated to come in soon, according to White. Additionally, funding is being sought from the Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, which provides grants to selected projects.

“We’ve put together a competitive TAP application asking for $2.5 million with a $1.5 million match,” White said.

Designs will be finalized in the fall, coinciding with the announcement of the TAP grant recipients.

Director of Public Works Alberta Blair addressed audience members at a Northaven Trail Phase Two update meeting held at Withers Elementary last Thursday evening. The meeting was hosted by the city and Friends of the Northaven Trail.

“This is a collaboration between not only the engineers and planners but you,” Blair said. “We rely on your input and suggestions.”

Neighborhood residents at the meeting were concerned about the existing plans to cross Preston Road, which include the use of alleys behind residential homes. One homeowner said that because the alleys are so narrow, using them to extend the trail would only hurt homeowners.

“It’s a difficult area because there are no existing pedestrian facilities,” White said in response to a question about other options planners are considering besides alleys. Streets in the area do not have sidewalks, which are needed in order to make them pedestrian friendly.

Planners also outlined possible future connections the Northaven Trail could make, including White Rock Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Elm Fork Athletic Complex and Campion Trail.

Once construction begins on the second phase of the Northaven Trail, it could take anywhere from a year to 18 months until it is completed.

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