Jonesboro's Greenway Trail. What's new, what's next?

Jonesboro's Greenway Trail. What's new, what's next?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - If you've driven down Matthews, you've probably seen them. Nice, new sidewalks that stretch all the way to Nettleton and beyond.

But this isn't a sidewalk project. It's the final segment of phase one of the Jonesboro Greenway Trail.

"As a hole, we have about five and a half miles done," Wixon Huffstetler said.

That's 5 and a half miles of an over 26 mile master plan that would weave around and through the city. All overseen right now by Jonesboro Parks Director Wixon Huffstetler.

That plan, if completed, will take years and millions of dollars.

Right now, phase one is nearly complete. It runs from Allen Park on Race Street, along Turtle Creek near Nettleton Intermediate, up Matthews all the way to downtown Jonesboro.

But, there is one major gap in this path. Right behind the mall the sidewalk ends. No bridge over Turtle Creek to connect the two halves of this 5 and a half miles.

"We applied for a grant. We should know about it in August. If we don't get the grant we have the money in the budget to put it in," Huffstetler said.

When that bridge goes in and phase one is finally complete it will be the end of a nearly two-and-a-half-million dollar project.  Of that, only 20 percent came out of local budgets. The rest, grant money.

Out at Craighead Forest Park, walkers and runners work their way across familiar paths. Some say, they look forward to blazing a new trail.

"I'm getting tired of running the same trail over and over again. I try to mix it up by mixing up trails and running different trails. If they added a few more that would be great," said runner Dakota Wicker.

Now, everyone will get what they want. The next step of the project is adding a new walking and running track inside the existing road at Craighead Forest Park.

"We believe this trail at Craighead Forest is going to be a big hit. You're not only going to be able to walk and run on it but there will be workout stations every quarter of a mile," Huffstetler said.

"It's kind of an emergency thing that we kind of need. Because of all the traffic out there and the amount of moms and dads pushing strollers and also have dogs on leashes it doesn't work well out there with the people walking on the road and traffic."

Huffstetler adds, he expects the bidding on the project to start this month with construction beginning in September.

If you would like to see the map for the master plan for the Jonesboro Greenway Trail, just click on the following link here.

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