New Braunfels City Council approved an agreement with San Antonio-based civil engineering firm Bain Medina Bain, Inc. during the June 14 council meeting for the final design of a portion of the Dry Comal Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

The agreement allows for an expenditure of up to $375,000 and was recommended by the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation.

Bain Medina Bain will complete plans, specifications and estimates for a 1-mile portion of the trail that will begin at Walnut Avenue and end at Elizabeth Street. The trail will be the first section of the proposed Dry Comal Creek Greenway to be constructed.

Preliminary designs for the project were completed by the city in 2018. Once complete, the trail will connect area neighborhoods with existing trails, local business centers, destinations and future trails.

City officials submitted the project to the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to receive funding through the Transportation Improvement Program.

If the AAMPO awards funding for the project, the city would be responsible to pay for 20% of construction costs and the right of way and easement acquisition, approximately $560,000 in total. The total project cost is estimated to be $2.9 million.

City Council members also approved a reimbursement agreement of up to $15,000 with Union Pacific Railroad for preliminary design approval of a pedestrian underpass as part of the trail project.

Included in Bain Medina Bain’s scope will be the design of a structure to be set under the existing bridge to protect pedestrians from falling debris.

The city is required to enter into the agreement with UPRR to reimburse the railway for design review, though it does not guarantee the structure will be approved.