The Belton Journal
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail was held on Friday. The opening of Phase V of the trail is a wonderful addition to the City and provides connections from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to the Miller Heights neighborhood.
Pastor Luke Madsen, Immanuel Lutheran Church, opened in prayer. “Heavenly Father, we recognize you as a God who wants to connect people. You want us to be connected to you and to each other. This hike and bike trail has that opportunity to better connect us with YOU and your creation and all the beauty,” Madsen prayed.
Sam Listi, City Manager said it was a beautiful day to dedicate this awesome trail to the citizens. The vision that guided the City through this trail was the City’s 2001 strategic plan. Bill Holmes, the Mayor at that time, helped in the development of the strategic plan. The plan challenged the City with the goal of establishing a trail along Nolan Creek and then extend it throughout the City.
Phase I of the trail opened in 2006, and through a sustained commitment, Belton demonstrated that it was up to the challenge. Phase V is dedicated to a vision to achieve a trail system across the community. There are five phases to the trail, and each phase cost about 2,000,000. With a 20 percent local match of money, the City’s cost for each phase was about $400,000. At the time, even with the match money, it was a considerable cost to the City, but they never wavered.
Listi said that, “Dreams do come true with a vision, commitment, dedication, hard work and a little luck.”
The TxDOT grants and community support have been essential to the project.
The hike and bike linkages are important. The linkage that makes Nolan Creek accessible to all from Liberty Park, Yettie Polk Park and Harris Park along Nolan Creek, is the Phase V linkage connecting the Belton community from south to north. Linkages to other community sidewalks improve Belton as a walkable community, including the sidewalks that have been added along Main St, South Wall Street, and others in the planning stages along 13th and 6th Avenues.
The Director of Public Works, Matt Bates, said there have been so many linkages to this trail through the different phases. The connectivity and infrastructure of the trail totals 5.17 miles. From the Public Works yard on Holland Road all the way down, it connects with this hike and bike trail.
The trails are about recreation and helping the people who want to hike and bike through Belton, and to get them there safely.
Stephen Kasberg, TxDOT Area Engineer, said that getting the trails built and actually have somewhere people can hike and bike off the roadways where there are no dedicated bike lanes is a great goal and something accomplished with these projects.
These trails will provide an opportunity to energize your body, to help people get in better shape, and to communicate and meet with new people in a safer way from cars and narrow, uneven surfaces.
BELTON JOURNAL/MIKE MYERS
Mayor Wayne Carpenter supported by local officials cuts the ribbon on Friday at the dedication ceremony for Phase V of the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail.
BELTON JOURNAL/MIKE MERS
Business owners, city dignitaries and others involved in the project, walking part of the Nolan Creek Hike & Bike Trail Phase V Dedication after a ceremony on Friday.