Trinity Strand Trail is moving right along with the construction of our trail! Our newest addition is the bridge near Wycliff and Irving Boulevard. It’s a beauty!
Don’t forget, we post our construction photos on Facebook so feel free to check them out here.
Trinity Strand Trail continues to build Phase 1…and now you can actually see some dirt move! These pictures were taken at Farrington and the channel (near Mama’s Daughters’ Diner, which is visible in the background.) Slowly but surely, we are getting this trail built, inch by inch. Go see for yourself!
Thank you to our friends, supporters, and contributors for your encouragement, determination and collaboration throughout the years. Without you, this would not be possible.
Thank you especially to the generous landowners who donated their property for our trail. Truly, your donation made this vision a reality! We express our sincere appreciation to: Crow Holdings, Industrial Properties Corporation, Feizy Properties Ltd., MOKS, Trinity Industries Inc., Laser Image and Earl Campbell.
Phase 1 Construction
The Trinity Strand Trail contract for Phase 1 has been awarded to RoeschCo Construction and was approved by the Dallas City Council on September 12th. Using funds from our NCTCOG grant and city bond financing, construction on the 2.5 miles of trail should begin January 2013. After years of hard work, along with the dedication and determination of friends, supporters and contributors, the time has finally come…we’re building our trail!
Phase 1 construction consists of 2.5 miles of concrete trail along the old Trinity River channel, traveling from the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Stemmons Freeway to Farrington Street. This path winds through the Dallas Design District and extends near the Southwestern Medical District. Each piece of property on Phase 1 has been generously donated to the City by area landowners.
Soft Surface Design
On August 22nd, Dallas City Council approved $400K in Design District TIF funds to be used for design of the Trinity Strand soft surface trail. This trail will travel along the old Trinity River channel and run parallel (on the opposite side of the channel) to the concrete trail we are building in Phase 1, thus giving us another 2 miles of soft surface trail in addition to the 2.5 miles of concrete trail in Phase 1. The soft surface trail may be used by pedestrians and runners and the concrete trail will be open to all non-motorized traffic, including bicycles. Design activities on the soft surface portion will start fall 2012 and will be completed by December 2013.
1) What is your connection to the Trinity River?
I am a native Texas and grew up in Fort Worth Texas, with the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. I spent a lot of time in Trinity Park as a young child and heard stories of the great flood of 1949. My father told me stories of standing on the roof of his business, as the water was rising. Many a summer day was spent on Benbrook Lake (West Fork of the Trinity River) and in the fall, sliding down the grassy earthen dam on cardboard boxes. I learned to water ski on Eagle Mountain Lake and would spend any available time skiing on Lake Worth or Benbrook Lake. So my childhood tendencies were more Clear Fork and West Fork derivatives of the River, I eventually landed in Dallas with a new career in Architecture. Lake Grapevine and Lake Lewisville became my adopted lakes along the Trinity system. Later in life, I moved my residence to the escarpment along the Katy Trail near Goat Hill. Looking out from my windows perched above this escarpment, I have a 270 degree view which a good portion of it is to the West and across the Trinity floodplain. It is easy to imagine the struggles early Dallas had with the River as the topography gradually builds itself away from the basin. I am involved with the Trinity Stand Trail, which is building a trail along the old Meanders riverbed. This artifact of the Trinity River has been reclaimed from public works where it still provides stormwater management, but now is being revitalized as a recreation area for the emerging Design District. Our plans have this trail connecting to the KATY Trail, as well as the levee system trail and on West Dallas via the Continental Bridge. As a Scoutmaster for Troop 718, we do backpacking training within the levees at Trammell Crow Park, where there is a 6 mile loop already in place. We also have a rescue dog, a Schipperke that befriended my wife Linda as she was letting the other doggies have some fun within the levees.
2) What do you think of when you hear someone say, “The Trinity River”?
I think of the vast watershed which makes up the Trinity River and the many branches that eventually become one river as it flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The management of the River became an engineering solution that created real estate opportunities along the reclaimed floodway and allowed for a new Interstate artery to develop. Dallas corridor became a City protected by a levee system that most folks in Dallas are unaware of. The challenge today is to reunite Dallas with their River and create recreational opportunities within the corridor.
3) How have you seen the Trinity River and Old Meanders change during your time on it?
I’ve seen a change in attitude about the River and reclaiming a portion of the Meanders for the Trinity Strand Trail is contributing to the grass roots awareness of the history of the Trinity in Dallas. We hope to get the message out about the significant history the river has played in development of Dallas and now with the Trinity River Corridor Projects coming on line the momentum is growing.
4) It looks like you have spent a lot of time around the Trinity River and Old Meanders, what have you learned about the river?
The Old Meanders is technically a stormwater sump with the stormwater volume pumped into the river thru the Baker Pump Station. I have learned that the management of the stormwater is critical to the health and safety of the Dallas residents and that we can partner with the engineering challenges to bring the river back to life by reclaiming and restoring the Meanders as both a recreational destination as well as an essential piece of the stormwater management of the Trinity River. I have learned about the migrating bird species that occupy the Trinity Corridor and Meanders and why a healthy river is paramount to the ecology of our area.
5) How do you think the Trinity Strand has changes people’s ideas of the Trinity River and Old Meanders?
Foremost, I feel the Trinity Strand Trail has reunited Dallas with a part of its past. Eighty plus years ago the Trinity River was relocated behind a series of levees that for the most part, hid its existence from the citizens of Dallas. The TST is reclaiming an artifact of the Old Meanders and this reclamation as a park complete with hike and bike trails and eventually a restoration project will forever remind Dallas of the natural location river prior to its relocation a half a mile to the West. The marker at the Turtle Creek Plaza gives a visual reference to the scale of the 1908 flood as it marks the height of the water during the flood. With this reference, it is easy to imagine the scale the River can grow to during a 100 year event.
6) What do you want people to know about the Trinity River?
Boundless potential! Opportunities associated with the Trinity River span the gambit from entrepreneurial to recreational. It is a work in progress, one that started 80 plus years ago with George Kessler’s master plan to the Trinity River Corridor Project. There is so much inertia behind all of the works that have already taken place to those that are just now being implemented, and that is just Dallas. People should be aware that the Trinity River is really 5 different branches, the West Fork, the Clear Fork, the North Wedge, the Elm Fork, and the East Fork which merge to become the Trinity River. The “Trinity River” most people in Dallas are familiar with is the Elm Fork which is joined with the West Fork near downtown. Dallas’ history is tied to the Trinity River with the “white rock crossing” of the Trinity River where the easiest crossing for wagons to cross the river before other modes were established.
This is a continuation in a series of articles that features local Dallasites and their connection to the Trinity River. If you or someone you know wants to be considered as an interview subject in this series, contact us at 214.948.4022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo: Courtesy the Trinity Strand Trail, at work on completing the organization’s vision for more sustainable living options in Dallas through effective trails)
LIVING GREEN ON THE TRINITY STRAND AND OTHER DALLAS TRAILS
By Jada Brazell
Despite elaborate plans to create a bike- and pedestrian-friendly Dallas, sometimes trail development takes a budgetary backseat to other pressing issues on the City’s agenda. That’s why private advocacy groups, or “friends groups,” exist.
Thanks to Friends of the Katy Trail, Katy Trail is well developed. But there are stretches of land awaiting trail development and, more often than not, volunteer organizations are working behind the scenes to keep the projects alive.
The Trinity Strand Trail organization, founded by a neighborhood community in 2002, is working to expedite development of the 7.8 mile trail that will run through 65 acres of green space in the Design District and connect to the Katy Trail.
The organization has just worked to complete the Turtle Creek Plaza, which features a metal sculpture and other unique elements designed to reflect the architecture of its surroundings in the Design District.
The TST has also aided in the development of two trailheads and continues to maintain these areas.
While the City ultimately approves and provides a portion of the funding for trail projects, it is organizations like TST that often oversee construction, fundraising, neighborhood land donation, design and publicity, according to Shelly White, executive director of the Trinity Strand Trail. She said the TST actively works with the City to maintain momentum and raise funds.
“We are doing the legwork and trying to keep things going,” said White, adding that TST members are passionate about outdoor activity in Dallas.
In its 2011 Bike Plan, the City asserts that community assistance is essential: “This Plan recognizes that the involvement of the ever-growing group of individuals and organizations…is critical to improving the bicycle friendly culture within the City and the region.”
Since its inception, TST has procured bonds from the City and raised funds through endeavors like the annual Jingle Bell Run. TST continues to raise money and awareness and is currently selling commemorative bricks at the Turtle Creek Plaza. The organization also seeks volunteers.
Dallas residents who live in other areas of the city can be a catalyst for trail creation by joining a neighborhood friends group.
Other trail projects with active friends groups include, but are not limited to:
Santa Fe Trail, linking downtown to East Dallas
Cottonwood Trail, connecting White Rock Lake to Preston Ridge Trail
Preston Ridge Trail, which extends from McCallum Blvd. to the President George Bush Turnpike
Northaven Trail, running from Central Expressway to White Rock Creek Trail
White Rock Creek Trail, connecting to to the Cottonwood Creek Trail and White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake Trail, looping around White Rock Lake
Bachman Lake Trail, routing around Bachman Lake
Kiest Park Loop Trail, a 2.8 mile park trail
Cedar Ridge Preserve Nature Trail, a scenic route in southwest Dallas
L.B. Houston Nature Trail, running along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River in Northwest Dallas
Jada Brazell is a freelance writer who also consults for fashion- and art-based businesses on branding. She has written for the Odessa American and Global Fashion News, edited for the Texas Senate and RadioShack, and contributed to several magazines and newspapers in Central and South Texas.