CONWAY, Ark – After years of mapping out new trails for the city, runners can finally set their feet on one in person.
Conway City Leaders announced the opening of the Stone Dam Creek trail expansion by UCA.
“It’s great to actually put your feet on the new asphalt,” Conway resident Jeremy Chrysler said.
Chrysler walked the trail for the first time Monday, happy to see an idea that was once on paper, come to life.
Conway first introduced the expansion project for Stone Dam Creek Trail five years ago. Over the course of that time, they have spent $1.3 million dollars to get it up and running.
“This will connect a lot of residential area to UCA, shopping opportunities and healthcare opportunities up north,” Bobby Kelly with the City of Conway said.
In the past decade, Kelly says the city has shifted focus to expanding the trail system.
“You want them for recreation and for healthcare benefits and what not but it’s also a form of transportation and that doesn’t slip by us,” Kelly said.
Right now, Kelly says the city is working on about 8 trail expansion projects and will spend about $30 million in the next 5 years to get them completed.
Some of that money is through the city and some is through grants.
Still residents want to see more.
“I would say it’s not enough,” Chrysler said.
With a boom in outdoor recreation, Chrysler says there is a push to make even some of the busiest streets bike and pedestrian friendly.
“It’s a big community amenity, it helps attract people here, it helps keep your community more active,” Chrysler said.
Still, Chrysler says he’s happy the city is taking notice, making a step in the right direction.
“It’s really been a response to the change in which people live their lives,” Kelly said.
The expansion of Stone Dam Creek is now open to the public.