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After 8 years, trail is reaching its destination

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.

The north end of the new portion of the U.S. 69 Walktrail stretches westward over to planned park land on the cul-de-sac at the east end of Brunke Road, just a short distance from Lynn Road. Eventually the trail will also connect to Jill Lane in the King’s Addition neighborhood. (Photo by Eric Copeland)

The north end of the new portion of the U.S. 69 Walktrail stretches westward over to planned park land on the cul-de-sac at the east end of Brunke Road, just a short distance from Lynn Road. Eventually the trail will also connect to Jill Lane in the King’s Addition neighborhood.
(Photo by Eric Copeland)

By Eric Copeland • eric@leaderpress.com

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One Response to After 8 years, trail is reaching its destination

  1. Erin Staponski Reply

    June 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

    My husband and I have walked the past two night from Westview water tower to the junction of Brunke Road and Lynn Road. It is a great trail. The new addition is wide, flat, smooth and just perfect for strollers, wheelchairs and bikes. It is exciting to know you are not finished yet! The wind chime was a peaceful and unexpected touch…I can’t wait to see the park built in that area ( the homes near the bridge already provide a ‘park like’ setting. What a great treat a park will be for our little ones as we start or finish a leg of a long walk there. I believe this trail is safe, but I would recommend it to teens using the buddy system only just because of the close proximity to the highway in areas, just me being a mom. I definitely think more teens should go check it out during the day though, meet up with a big group and go explore! Again, I LOVE this trail but would ask for some tree trimming if possible…some of the limbs are a little low for my husband. Thanks again and keep up the good work,

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