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Downtown Bastrop soon to become more cyclist and pedestrian friendly

Angela Ryan - BEDC

The Bastrop EDC held a public input session on May 10th at Bastrop City Hall to give an update on the Downtown Trail Expansion Project and to receive input from the public.

BEDC Executive Director Shawn and project engineer Tracy Bratton spoke with attendees and explained the planned route (see map below).

The first phase will consist of a multimodal sidewalk beginning in the 100 block of Perkins Street (near Sonic) and running westward to the corner of Loop 150 and the Hwy 71 frontage road. It will turn the corner toward the north and connect with the existing sidewalk at Eskew and Loop 150, near the Texas Department of Public Safety office.

Construction on this first section is expected to begin later this year. $180,000 was budgeted in the FY2016/2017 BEDC budget, and the remaining $250,000 will be proposed for the FY2017/2018 budget. The width of the sidewalk trail will vary from six feet to ten feet, depending upon the available right-of-way.

Phase 2 of the project will pick up at Water Street, where the planned TxDOT frontage road on the east side of the river will end, and will extend up to the 800 block of Main Street, near Wells Fargo Bank. The cost for this portion of the project is estimated to be $250,000, and would be budgeted for FY2018/2019.

Completion of the entire project will create 1.8-mile loop from downtown to Hwy 71 and back, increasing the connectivity for those who enjoy outdoor recreational activities in the area, including walking, running, and cycling. It will also establish an existing trail that TxDOT will tie into once work starts on the new frontage roads across the Colorado River.

Increasing the walkability of the downtown area has been suggested by numerous studies done on the area. Kirkpatrick said, “Connecting our community through a comprehensive trail system has been a goal of many different organizations in Bastrop. The Bastrop Main Street Program, Parks Board, and others have brought to the EDC’s attention the idea of constructing segments of this Downtown Trail Loop. It connects east and west of the Colorado River, and north and south of Hwy 71, creating a destination downtown trail system for Bastrop. State law provides for the EDC to develop recreational projects that support tourism and public parks.”

The EDC Board will be presented with the findings of the route study and input session at its May 15th Board Meeting.