By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A new multi-use trail, funded largely through a federal grant, is coming near the heart of Yukon.
The 10-foot-wide trail will be installed on the east side of Garth Brooks Boulevard between Route 66 (Main Street) and Vandament Avenue. The new trail will connect with an existing 6-foot-wide sidewalk in front of Mollie Spencer Farm south of Yukon Middle School.
The pedestrian improvement project will cost $767,635, with the federal share $515,960 and City of Yukon share $251,675.
Construction of this “Garth Brooks Trail” will encourage Yukon residents to safely walk and ride their bicycles, according to Yukon grant writer Claudia Krshka.
Bids will be solicited before a contractor is hired to construct the new trail.
“We have all the easements,” Krshka said. “This $251,675 is the payment to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Once that’s done, then they will take it out to bid. We hope that will go out in March.”
The City of Yukon was awarded a federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) for the Garth Brooks Trail project.
ODOT recommends the trail be 10-feet wide so Yukon can be eligible for the grant funds, Krshka explained.
Mayor Shelli Selby called the new trail a “wonderful addition to our Garth Brooks Boulevard.”
The City of Yukon’s trails program is designed to improve public health and safety while enhancing bike and pedestrian traffic.
“We’re trying to get trails that provide access for everybody, all across the city,” Krshka explained.
The city this spring completed another grant-funded, multi-use trail between Dickenson Park at First and Poplar to Yukon’s east edge on Lakeshore Drive.
The recent payment of Yukon’s $251,675 local share for the Garth Brooks Trail does not include the cost of improving “all four corners at Yukon Avenue and Vandament for pedestrian traffic,” Krshka wrote in a Dec. 1 memo to the city council.
“This would include re-working of the sidewalks, pedestrian tactile ramps, installing pedestrian push buttons, and crosswalk striping at an estimated cost of $44,144.50.”