Imagine biking to all of Preston Hollow’s eateries, or even directly into Irving’s expansive park system from White Rock Creek Trail. It’s a reality we could see as soon as 2018, if all the bureaucratic wheels involved continue to turn together.
Plans already are underway to add more than 7 miles to the Northaven Trail, which winds through Preston Hollow between Preston Road and Valleydale Drive. That includes a pedestrian bridge over Central, which will connect to both the White Rock Creek and Cottonwood trails.
“We’ve got the funding in place, which is the biggest hurdle,” says Jeff Kitner, president of the Friends of the Northaven Trail.
And bridges don’t come cheap. The 1-mile expansion over Central will cost $14 million, which is being split evenly between the city and county. Since most of its land has been incorporated into cities, the county is using more of its roadway money on trail projects.
“They said if the city comes up with the money, we’ll match it,” says Lee Kleinman, District 11 councilman and longtime trail supporter.
TxDOT stepped in to design the bridge, as it does on many projects that involve highways. Kleinman says “there’s an outside shot” the connection could be complete by 2018, creating a lit and paved path from East Dallas west, versus the current option that takes devoted cyclists down a muddy makeshift trail under Central.
On the west side of Northaven, construction of an $8 million plan is already underway that will stretch the trail from Preston Road to the Walnut Hill/Denton DART station. Also a project of the city and county, the 6.25-mile expansion should be complete by 2018.
The city has considered an even larger expansion that would link Northaven to Elm Fork Trail at the Moneygram Soccer Park, which connects into the Campion Trail in Irving that loops through a variety of scenic parks. But funds for that addition have not yet been secured, making it part of the 300-mile trail dream that has yet to be fully realized.