FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 1, 2020
Contact: Matt Mihalevich
City Celebrates Completion of the Niokaska Creek Trail
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The City of Fayetteville invites the public to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the completion of the Niokaska Creek Trail. The event will take place on the east side of Gulley Park (1850 E. Township Street) where the trail enters the park near Niokaska Creek. COVID-19 health and safety precautions will be in place.
The Niokaska Creek Trail is three miles long and provides active transportation and recreation opportunities for more than 4,000 residents who live within one-quarter mile of the trail. Located on the east side of Fayetteville, the new trail extends north from Mission Blvd. along the Old Wire Road cycle track to Gulley Park, where it follows Niokaska Creek northeast to connect with Mud Creek Trail and the Razorback Greenway.
The Niokaska Creek Trail was designed by the City of Fayetteville Engineering Division and built by the Transportation Division’s in-house trail construction crew. The trail is designed with a focus on accommodating users of all ages and all abilities. The concrete trail is 12 feet wide and includes energy-efficient LED lighting along the entire length. A new 100-foot-long steel bridge spans Niokaska Creek north of the intersection of Old Wire and Crossover Roads. Just upstream from this bridge, the creek drops approximately five feet over a sewer line, and the in-house construction crew took this opportunity to line the sewer encasement with large native boulders to create a naturalistic waterfall that is visible from the bridge.
The trail project includes a precast concrete tunnel installed under Old Wire Road, providing a safe, grade-separated crossing for trail users. Scurlock Industries fabricated the 80-foot long, 14-foot wide tunnel, which was installed with crane services by Multi-Craft Contractors, Inc.
The project also included updating the narrow, aging asphalt trail within Gulley Park. The new eight-foot wide concrete trails add up to one mile within the park, accommodating a variety of users. Lighting will soon be included along these trails as well.
The Old Wire Road section of the trail, which was completed in late 2019, includes the first fully protected two-way cycle track in the region. The trail is separated from the road by a stamped concrete buffer and light poles and has a separate sidewalk for pedestrians. The project also includes the first bicycle-specific signal, located at Township St. This part of the project was designed by the City of Fayetteville Engineering Division and constructed by Sweetser Construction. Since the Old Wire Road section opened, more than 40,000 people have used the trail, with an average of 150 users per day.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is taking a scaled-back approach to this ribbon-cutting ceremony. Face coverings and social distancing will be required, and masks will be available free of charge for any attendee who does not have one. A limited number of speakers and officiants will participate in the ceremony, which is anticipated to last no more than 20 minutes. This event will take place outdoors near a wooded area, so attendees are advised to dress accordingly and wear sturdy shoes. A short walk across uneven ground is needed to reach the trailside event location from the parking lot off Township Street. Members of the media carrying recording equipment and attendees with mobility considerations may wish to park on E. Country Way to shorten this distance and remain on paved surfaces. Attendees are encouraged to use the new trail for an enjoyable way to access the event.
To learn more about the Niokaska Creek Trail improvements, visit https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/1261/Trail-Construction-Program