Kyle leaders working to complete city’s portion of San Antonio-to-Austin trail

Kyle city staff answered questions March 2 about the city's ongoing design and construction of its citywide trail system. (Screenshot courtesy city of Kyle)
Kyle city staff answered questions March 2 about the city's ongoing design and construction of its citywide trail system. (Screenshot courtesy city of Kyle)

Kyle city staff answered questions March 2 about the city's ongoing design and construction of its citywide trail system. (Screenshot courtesy city of Kyle)

The city of Kyle has been surveying residents on their desire for a citywide trail for the last five years, but City Manager Scott Sellers said resident interest has skyrocketed recently.

The trail will be a part of the Great Springs Project, which, when complete, will constitute one continuous trail from San Antonio to Austin.

In Kyle, the trail will extend west from the Blanco River, run through the city and meet up with Plum Creek. After crossing I-35, the trail will run east before extending south to San Marcos.

“This is a very ambitious and very exciting trail network for our citizens and their quality of life,” Sellers said.

Addressing Kyle City Council on March 2, Garry Merritt of the Great Springs Project said the main goal is to create a network of trails from the Alamo to the Capitol.


“It’s a big vision, but we’re Texans, and there’s a good reason we should be doing this,” Merritt said.

Regarding the work left to be completed in the the Spring Branch segment of the Kyle trail that runs from RM 150 West to James Atkins Drive, Sellers said that 2,800 feet of trail still require easement acquisition and that about 36,600 linear feet of the trail are still unpaved.

The city received a cost estimate for that portion of the trail to be about $387,500. In May 2019, Kyle received a $200,000 grant award from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the city covered the remainder through its park development fund, Sellers said.

Now, the city needs to complete the remainder of the trail, he said, adding that the November Hays County parks bond election has added another $4 million to the local trail project’s coffers: $2 million from the county and a matching $2 million from the city.

“So we want to begin the design phase for the east side as well for all of the east-side trail segments,” Sellers said. “With that, most of the trail will be in some sort of design or construction phase as we move through 2021 and into 2022.”

Many questions remain for design of the remainder of the trail in Kyle, including width, parking areas and material type. Sellers said the project's next step will involve focus groups, surveys, public comment forms and more as part of an overarching public outreach effort.

Timeline

Kyle staff are working to match the Great Spring Trail Project’s timeline, which is planned as follows.

  • Early 2021: Existing conditions analysis and data collection

  • Spring 2021: Economic benefits report and trail committee kickoff meeting

  • Summer 2021: Draft of trail plan

  • Fall 2021: Final trail plan submitted

  • Winter 2021-22: Begin implementation of trail plan

By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.