Denison officials held a groundbreaking ceremony to formally prepare for the construction of the Katy Trail walking trail that has been in development for a number of years.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Wednesday afternoon to formally kick off the construction project that will begin construction later this week.

Here are five things to know about the trail

1. It’s been five years in the making

The earliest public discussions of the proposed trail began in 2015 after the city gained ownership of the abandoned rail road right of way formerly used by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas line in Denison several years ago.

The project relied on Texas Department of Transportation funding that required the city to submit multiple applications to receive. The city is beginning phase one of the multi-year project. There will be a 200-foot pedestrian bridge crossing Loy Lake Road as part of the project.

2. It will connect to downtown eventually

The first phase is for a one-mile stretch that will go from Day Street to Loy Lake Road and phase two will be from Loy Lake Road south to Spur 503. The city’s goal is to eventually connect downtown Denison to the city limits on the south side of town at FM 691.

3. It will support different activities

The 12-foot wide concrete trail will include benches and access to vendors to cater to those who chose to utilize the trail. The trail will support walking, hiking and bicycles.

4. TxDOT is splitting the bill

The agreement the city has with TxDOT is for Denison to pay 20 percent of the total cost and TxDOT will pay the rest.

5. Phase 2 funding has been sought

The Denison City Council has already budgeted the $282,194 of its share for phase two while city officials will apply for funding from TxDOT on the remaining $1,410,970 portion.