New UF walking and biking trail planned
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new trail for cyclists and pedestrians has been proposed for the University of Florida campus.
The 2.7-mile trail will start on the south side of Hull Road west of Southwest 34th Street. It will cross Hull Road near the Southwest Recreation Center and continue on the north side of Hull and Mowry roads until the pony and practice fields. The trail will then continue along the creeks and wetlands until South Newell Drive where new bicycle lanes and sidewalks will connect to the existing bicycle trail at Archer Road.
The Florida Department of Transportation will hold an open house about the project from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Doyle Conner Building, 1911 SW 34th St.
Linda Dixon, associate director of UF Facilities, Planning and Construction, said people often jog and exercise on a skinny and rough asphalt path along Hull and Mowry roads. The trail will be a smooth surface that is well-lit and wider.
“This will be a huge improvement over there,” she said. She said the trail will also make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
“People run in the bike lane,” she said. “This will give a much safer alternative to that.”
The trail is being financed by federal enhancement funds, and the estimated cost is $2.5 million. Construction is slated to start near the end of 2014 or early 2015.
Dixon said the path is part of a plan to eventually connect various trails and take people from the City of Archer to the City of Hawthorne connecting through the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail.
“This is actually part of what is a cross-county bicycle path,” Dixon said.
Dixon said Thursday’s open house will allow residents to ask questions and share their concerns, and learn more about the trail.
- Ayana Stewart