Plans to construct a hike and bike trail alongside Folsom Drive and between Major Drive and Dowlen Road have taken steps forward. At an April 16 Beaumont City Council meeting, Council approved a resolution authorizing the acceptance of a parking and access easement for the purposes of accessing and constructing a hike and bike trail and parking area.
The trail will be approximately two miles long and 10 feet wide, said Patrick Donart, city engineer for the city of Beaumont. According to Donart, the plan has been in the works for quite some time, but was helped along with a transportation grant from the Department of Transportation, received last year.
Donart said the original plan was to construct a trail between Delaware Street and Folsom Drive but that was rejected.
“Between developers, land owners, the district and the city, we all decided it would be best if we relocated the trail,” he said.
After receiving the grant, the city then had to procure an easement, or right of way, for the hike and bike trail.
“We’re running primarily on Drainage District No. 6 property and in order for our walking trail to be on their property, we need to have an easement,” Donart said.
Donart said that the city will meet with the Texas Department of Transportation April 18 to look at the construction plans and discuss when the city would begin bidding the project, which is the next step in the process.
“We anticipate bidding the project in August of this year,” he said. “The lowest qualified bidder is who we would recommend City Council to award the project to.”
Once council awards the project, Donart said a contractor would then enter into an agreement with the city, a preconstruction meeting would be held and then the contractor would begin construction.
“The contract time is 120 working days,” he said.
Donart said the city decided to construct another hike and bike trail due to the heavy traffic of the Gulf Terrace Hike and Bike Trail, located between Phelan Boulevard and Dishman Road and adjacent to the Cris Quinn Soccer Complex.
There are a couple of advantages to having a trail in this location, according to Donart.
“You get to utilize the basin a little bit better,” he said. “A lot of trails or walking areas throughout town are all adjacent to city streets and this allows you to go up into the retention basin. It’s not a straight shot. It’s winding with a bunch of curves. It will just be a different feel.”
Donart said the trail would not only be used for exercise but also for pedestrian traffic.
“The majority would be used for exercise, but the way the grant is written, it’s a mode of transportation to allow people to get from one major road, Major Drive, to another major road, which is Dowlen Road,” he said.
The fact that there are not sidewalks on the section of Folsom, where the trail will be built, did influence the decision to construct it in that particular area, Donart said.
There will be a City Council agenda item sometime in September to recommend a contractor for the project, he said.
Kevin King can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 225, or by e-mail at kevin [at] theexaminer [dot] com.