Kerrville: Feasibility Study Launched to Extend River Trail to North Bank
Feature Photo: The pedestrian crossing from Louise Hays Park to Tranquility Island in the Guadalupe River. City Council wants to construct a River Trail extension from the island and down the north bank to connect downtown to its trail system. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Kerrville (Kerr County) — An extension of the River Trail that would cut through the north bank of the Guadalupe River is being considered by City Council.
The council passed a resolution Jan. 12 accepting $50,000 in funding from the city’s Economic Improvement Corporation. The money is to be used to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on the extension.
In years past, city fathers had constructed the River Trail and it is aligned along the south bank of the river. Its length goes from Kerrville-Schreiner Park south of Veterans Highway up to Louise Hays Park and Tranquility Island before crossing north of the river at the Francisco Lemos Street bridge and continuing northwest to Dietert Hall (a community center).
The trail bypasses downtown, however, and the proposed extension is intended to remedy that.
The resolution states that the new extension should begin at the G Street bridge at the south edge of downtown and continue north along the western border of downtown to Tranquility Island. This is a distance of approximately 1 mile.
Considered a downtown revitalization project, the trail extension design must promote a walkable, uniform public space that will link “Downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods through streetscape elements, access, connections and crossings,” the resolution said.
A scope of work prepared by staff for the consultant to be hired includes the following tasks:
Site visits and data collection
Evaluation of potential trail alignments
Identification of property ownership and required easements
Evaluation of both ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ trail alignments along the riverbank
Evaluation of required and existing drainage features
Identification of constructability and contractor access issues
Identification of natural resource and animal habitat constraints
Perform a cursory cultural resource evaluation
Review and summarize various regulatory issues that may exist
Evaluate and recommend potential project phasing
Determine anticipated design and construction schedules and estimated costs
Prepared a final Concept Study Report
In the coming weeks, city staff will present a Request for Qualifications for City Council to approve and proceed with the selection of a consulting firm.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.