CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. — The once delayed Citrus Heights Arcade-Cripple Creek Trail is expected to resume construction this fall and complete next year.
The nearly 3-mile, multi-use loop trail will connect seven parks to a neighborhood, several schools and Sunrise Mall, according to city plans. The route will start at Wachtel Way and end at the Sunrise MarketPlace area, once complete.
The trail will be 10-feet wide with two-foot-wide granite shoulders to protect walkers and bikers while working to minimize impact to existing trees.
This project is planned to have GHD, Inc. provide engineering support services through construction. Coastland Civil Engineering is contracted to perform construction management, inspection and material testing services during the construction phase of the project.
The project was originally estimated to cost about $6.7 million but almost all of the costs for the project came in at higher numbers than anticipated, according to a staff report.
City council approved $10.4 million for the project’s various needs, including an $846,600 contingency for other costs, Thursday. The increase in price is in part due to a volatile market, material supply chain issues, inflation and labor shortages, according to the report.
Funding is primarily from grants from various city groups.
“We expect to start construction by fall and the project itself should take about a year to complete,” said city engineer Leslie Blomquist.
This project is part of the city’s goal to increase walkability and safety by improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the community’s system of creekside trails, parks and open spaces, according to the Citrus Heights city website.
“I live near Tempo Park and frequently walk multiple sections of the proposed trail,” wrote resident Steve Wigginton to city council. “This trail project will make our community a better place… I look forward to enjoying the improvements this project will bring and the positive impact it will have on my lifestyle and the community.”
Residents with children may be affected as the route runs through some of the San Juan Unified School District in Citrus Heights. Woodside K-8 and other nearby schools will have a direct route from their homes to school and parks.
“We are excited for this project,” said Raj Rai, director of communication for the district. “Projects such as these are so important to our schools as they open up access to our community and provide a safe transportation route for students and families.”
Some security measures will be implemented for the new route, including ensuring that the entire route is lit, adding new crosswalks to public roadways and removing barriers to existing floodways.
Other measures include removing overgrown vegetation that will make it more difficult for criminals to hide within and providing law enforcement with a more direct route to occurring emergencies, according to city spokesperson Elyjah Wilbur.
Citrus Heights Police Lt. Wesley Herman says city engineers worked closely with the police to ensure there were crime prevention tactics in line with the environmental design of the trail.
“We’re going to be able to drive these routes,” said Herman. “We don't expect a negative impact on crime at all. Anytime the community can gather outdoors together is good… [The trail will create] a walkable, rideable, vibrant city.”
Visitors should be mindful that there are no new drinking fountains being planned, but the trail connects multiple public spaces with facilities for use, according to Blomquist.
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