Bids for phase one of the Katy Trail project in Denison should begin by the end of July. Now that the design phase is nearing completion, the city pf Denison is gearing up to begin the first steps of construction on a project several years in the making.


Denison Parks and Recreation Director Justin Eastwood said city staff are excited to begin the next phase of the project that began in 2015.


“This is a place people come often,” Eastwood said. “To allow more accessibility is going to amplify the experience. It will continue to grow from that standpoint. It will bring more outdoor adventures to the city.”


The city began working on the project in early January 2015 after the city purchased the right-of-way from the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad lines to improve water lines along the line. The city designed the walking trail as a way to utilize those right-of-way to serve the greater community by providing walking, hiking and bicycle trails along the way. The proposed trail will span 2.65 miles along the city.


Originally the city sought a Texas Department of Transportation grant to fund the project, but after the city was denied the grant it broke the project into smaller phases. Then, the city applied for grants with TxDOT again and the projects were approved. The city received its grant for funding the first phase in 2018, and the design portion of the phase started in June 2018. This portion of the projected is expected to be completed by the end of this month.


Eastwood said the other trail system that is a priority for the 2020 fiscal year budget is the Waterloo Park Trails which are also in the design phase at this time. Two trails will be essential to the city’s wellness plans for the future, and Eastwood said the trails will also help with the city’s goal of making the parks more accessible.


Phase two of the Katy Trail application process will begin in August.


“I feel like parks are one of those things where you can do a lot of different things,” Eastwood said. “It is a very good way to connect with others and provide a service that improves the quality of life for others, which I love.”


What do you look forward the most for the proposed Katy Trail? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know at rtodd@heralddemocrat.com.