Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway

posted by: Karen Bonvillain | 21st May 2015
Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway

The grand opening of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway was held on Saturday May 2, at the Shiloh Square in Springdale. The entire greenway length is approximately 36 miles and runs from south Fayetteville to Bella Vista.

In 2011, the cities of Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville and Bella Vista had trail systems. However, none of the systems were connected in a north – south corridor. In July 2011, ALTA Greenways started meetings with trail coordinators, planners, and the mayors of Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers and Bentonville to promote a connecting greenway trail from Lake Fayetteville to Bentonville. The connecting trail route was approximately 16 miles long. Chuck Flink of ALTA Greenways and John McClarty of the NW Arkansas Regional Planning office, coordinated the meetings in Springdale.  Four local engineering firms, MCE of Fayetteville, CEI Engineering of Bentonville (CEI), Crafton, Tull and Associates of Rogers (CTA) and USI Engineering of Springdale (USI) were invited to the meeting as part of the trail design team. Public hearings were held in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Lowell and Bentonville to get public input on the trail route and design. Three of the four design engineering firms were assigned sections of the trail to design. Those firms were responsible for mapping and designing the trail in their assigned sections.

During the design phase, the trail was routed and rerouted several times because of the obstacles it faced. For the connecting trail route, MCE was assigned the task of establishing and providing survey control points for the mapping of the project, boundary resolution of properties along the trail route and trail easement and exhibit map preparation for easements which crossed private properties. MCE also provided geotechnical services and quality control for materials for the entire project. MCE also provided engineering services for end bents and headwalls on several of the pedestrian bridges along the trail.

Trail routes consisted of a mixture of locations.  Routes consisted of using existing street right-of-ways, existing sidewalks, existing utility easements, and existing flood zone areas. Airspace permits from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department were required for the section of trail under the proposed Hwy 412 bypass and I-49 interchange. A section of the trail, between Johnson Avenue and Huntsville Avenue in Springdale, is a columned boardwalk built over Spring Creek. Some trail easements were obtained from private landowners. The total number of trail easements obtained from landowners along the route was 129. This project is really a display of the efforts of the cities along the trail routes.

Citizens, planners, designers, landowners, local officials and all their supporting staff made this project possible. A special thanks is extended to the Walton Family Foundation for their financial contributions to this project. This project could not have been completed without their assistance.

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