Finally, after years of waiting, walkers on the west side of town are finally reaching the end of the road—or the trail, as the case may be.
The north leg of the U.S. 69 walktrail is on the verge of completion after being in the works in some form since 2005.
“Most of the work is completed on the trail,” explained Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation Director Katie Noyd. “As of April 21, they had 91 percent of the work complete.”
This week, workers started building a block-construction retaining wall near the hospital. They were hard at work on that project on Wednesday afternoon, but the job is very much dependent on the weather. If the rain allows the crews to work, Noyd said the wall should be completed this week or next week.
“They have seeded the areas near the trail,” Noyd added. “We are still waiting on the handrail that comes out from the bridge on the west side. The public works crew is redoing the curb along the road down to the rehab center.”
Currently, the trail starts at the intersection of U.S. 69 and Wornall Road, though at that point walkers can hook up with the eastbound sidewalk that runs along the south edge of the Westview Elementary School property, or they can turn west, cross U.S. 69 at the stoplight and continue on along sidewalks on school property headed west toward Crown Hill Road or back north along Tiger Drive. Past Excelsior Springs High School, the sidewalk is continued on a city-construction walkway that goes on to Tracy Avenue.
The new leg of the walktrail will allow walkers to turn onto Rainbow Boulevard and walk between Excelsior Springs Hospital on the south, and Community Bank of Missouri and Valley Manor & Rehabilitation Center on the north. The trail then continues westward through a wooded area, eventually reaching a new portion of Brunke Road east of Lynn Road.
In the near future, city officials plan to establish a park at the west end of the new leg, along the Brunke Road cul-de-sac.
All of this should come as welcome news to fitness-minded people throughout town. While the new leg of the trail has been planned since 2005, construction didn’t get underway until last fall.
“This will connect the Highway 69 Walktrail to Lynn Road and numerous neighborhoods in the area,” Noyd explained. “The plan is to connect Joy Street in King’s Addition down to the trail, but that is a whole separate project.”
The new portion of the walktrail is about half a mile long and is handicapped-accessible in accordance with the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition, Noyd said that the new addition is an important part of the west side walktrail but only a small part of the city’s overall plan to enhance pedestrian opportunities all throughout the community.
“Our goal is to add more trails—concrete, asphalt and mulch—throughout Excelsior Springs so that citizens have plenty of places to walk,” she said.
By Eric Copeland • email@example.com