The Six Cities Trail Plan was entered into by Richardson, Garland, Plano, McKinney, Frisco and Allen in 2001. The plan sought to create a main trail spine that could connect the six cities, said Kurt Beilharz, Richardson’s superintendent of park planning.
Two key points that could link two or more cities were identified in Richardson, Beilharz said. The first was within the Duck Creek Trail system, which is currently the subject of a 1.5-mile extension project.
The city expects to complete the $3.1 million project by October, at which point the trail will link Richardson with the city of Garland at the corner of Belt Line and Jupiter roads, Beilharz said.
“When we are done with this current project, we will have fully completed the entire trail corridor that was identified in the 2001 Six Cities Trail Plan,” he said. “Our portion will be 100% complete.”
Staff in Garland is working on its own trails plan that will eventually extend the Duck Creek Trail into the city, Beilharz said.
In addition to the connection with Garland, the Duck Creek Trail will also run west on Collins Boulevard to eventually meet up with the Central Trail, which runs north to CityLine and into the city of Plano.
“Plano has been working for the last several years to bring their trail down to the President George Bush Turnpike just north of CityLine,” he said.
The goal is to also provide a future southbound connection via the Central Trail into the city of Dallas, Beilharz said.
“That connection does not exist yet, but Dallas County is working on a feasibility study, and we hope that will happen eventually,” he said.
The second key connection point exists within the Breckinridge Park trail system. The city is currently in the midst of building 1.2 miles of trail on the north and west sides of the park, Beilharz said.
“Our people will now have the option of going north and west over into Plano or north and east into the east side of Plano and farther east into the city of Murphy,” he said.
A new trailhead, which will feature a drinking fountain, picnic table and bench, is also included in expansion, he said.
The $780,000 Breckinridge Park project is expected to be complete by August, Beilharz said.
Another trail project is about to get underway in the Spring Creek Nature Area, where the city plans to build two new concrete segments extending from portals on Renner Road into the nature area to connect with existing trail.
The $614,000 effort is expected to kick off in August and last through January, Beilharz said.
Staff also plans to build additional unpaved trail following the completion of the concrete segments, he added.
A grant application for nine additional wayfinding signs in the Spring Creek Nature Area will be submitted to Collin County by July 6, Beilharz said. If awarded, that project will take four months to complete.
Staff will return to council June 22 for approval of a resolution that will allow the city to apply for the funds, he added.
Mayor Paul Voelker thanked Beilharz and his team for ensuring these projects coordinate well with city-led development efforts, such as those along Main Street and in The IQ area.
“The number of trails we have just continues to grow,” he said. “As we look at these new spaces we create and places we create ... it is neat to see these systems being incorporated.”