Blog reader Scott Allen sent me this post covering the Eagle Creek Greenway extension project. Thanks to Scott for the information and photos:
Construction has begun on what DPW is calling the North Segment of the Eagle Creek Greenway extension project. For background, the greenway currently consists of two very separate pieces: one that winds through the Pike Youth Soccer Complex at 56th Street and Reed Road just south of Eagle Creek Park, and another at the opposite end along Raymond Street between Eagle Creek and the White River. This extension project is broken up into four segments that will connect those two existing stretches.
The first scheduled segment of the four is the North Segment, which runs along Eagle Creek Parkway from just north of 46th Street to 38th Street, then turns West along 38th Street past the Eagle Creek Air Park and south along Dandy Trail—over I-74—to the north side of Eagle Creek. It is a 2.3-mile-long segment.
As of now, underground utilities have been marked, and the route has been laid out with stakes. Several trees have been surrounded with protective fencing, and the clearing of the right-of-way is expected to begin next week. Construction will move forward as weather permits, and the segment is scheduled to be complete sometime in the Fall.
Here are a few photos of where the project stands, moving north to south:
This project has the potential to be pretty exciting for this part of the city, and I’ve personally been waiting a long time for it to get underway. It borders on a lot of large apartment complexes, housing additions, and the only major commercial node in the area. Unfortunately, without at least a few crosswalks, I’m not sure the full potential of the trail can be realized. I already mentioned the obvious need for a proper set of crosswalks at Eagle Creek Parkway and 38th Street, but the lack of crossings doesn’t end there.
Originally, the project plan called for going around the West side of the Air Park along Dandy Trail. One of the reasons for changing the route was connecting to Eagle Highlands Park, which is east of Eagle Creek Parkway on Inland Drive. It would be great for all residents of that neighborhood if there was a way for pedestrians to cross Eagle Creek Parkway at Inland Drive, whether that was a stoplight with walk button or—at least—a flashing yellow light. There are currently no signalized crossings between 38th and 46th Streets on Eagle Creek Parkway.
Second, there needs to be a way to cross 38th Street anywhere along this route. Right now, there are no signalized crosswalks anywhere west of I-465, and no one who lives on the South side of 38th Street can get to this trail without crossing four lanes of traffic in a 40-mph zone.
Once the snow melts and more things start happening, I’ll provide more updates.