For years, the leaders of five North Texas cities have shared their dreams of a bike trail system that would connect downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas.
But with a price tag of $16 million and a lot of other projects competing for public funds, there hasn't been a whole lot of visible progress on it — that is, until now.
In the coming weeks, construction will ramp up on a $1.3 million trail extension in Arlington.
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There are currently seven miles of continuous trail through the city's River Legacy Park, but as riders head east towards Texas 360, it eventually comes to a stop.
This new construction will pick up at the 7-mile marker on the trail, then head north, where it will curve around Riverside Golf Club and go all the way to Texas 360.
Eventually it will connect to new sections of trail the cities of Fort Worth and Grand Prairie are planning.
The extension is expected to be complete in mid-September. When it opens, Arlington will have finished its entire portion of the Fort Worth to Dallas trail system.
"This is a great feeling," said Eric Seebock, the Project Manager for Arlington's Parks & Recreation Department who has overseen the extension. "It's taken a long time. We didn't think we'd finally get here, but we started last Thursday, so we're ready to go."
There are approximately 34 miles of existing trail between Fort Worth and Dallas. The two cities, as well as Arlington, Grand Prairie and Irving, have been working since 2013 to figure out how they can fill the 30 or so miles of gaps that remain.
Many of those projects are in the planning phase — and several of them are simply waiting for funding so that construction can begin. The North Central Texas Council of Governments, which is helping to spearhead the project, has said it believes the entire system can be completed within the next five years.