First leg of RRVT-HTT connector trail nearly ready for public use

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The Let’s Connect recreational trail from 18th Street in Perry to 130th Street will soon open for public use now that Rockwell City-based Howrey Construction has built the final piece, the trail crossing in the 13100 block of L Place in rural Dallas County.

Construction of the 1.56-mile phase-one portion cost $570,000, according to Dallas County Conservation Board Director Mike Wallace. About 7.5 miles remains to be built in the $5 million connector-trail project.

“When we’re lucky enough to build on an old railroad right-of-way bed, that helps with the price,” Wallace said. “When we’re blazing a trail through the edge of somebody’s field or the back slope of a ditch, then the costs are increased.”

The timeline for phase two is less clear, but construction will likely start next summer, according to Wallace.

The construction of phase two would proceed westward along the old rail bed from S Avenue in Woodward possibly to Quinlan Avenue, “but it kind of depends on whether we land a grant or two,” Wallace said.

The application for a State Recreational Trail grant was submitted in July, and the deadline for a Federal Recreational Trail grant falls in October. The connector-trail project received $366,000 in state grant funding last years and $162,000 in federal funding.

The Woodward City Council is also acquiring land inside the city limits for the connector trail’s link to the High Trestle Trail, according to Woodward Mayor Brian Devick.

“We are not ready to give a full report at this time,” Devick told the council at the August meeting, “but I’ve been working with Craid (DeHoet) on it, and we are working on the development and the land procurement for the extension of the trailhead so as that extends through, there’s a potential area for a park and the expansion of future amenities.”

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