Roswell trail improvement five years in the making

New Mexico News

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Roswell is working on connecting the Spring River Trail at Cahoon Park and the Cielo Grande Trail after five years of debate and roadblocks on the project following a hearing last week. The goal is to increase the number of people able to use both sites either for walking or riding a bike.

But because of a lack of funding and unhappy residents in the area, it still hasn’t been done. City of Roswell Engineer Louis Najar says that the new plan they have come up with is the best and cheapest option.  

“The latest option is no longer the alley between the golf course and Wyoming due to citizen complaints and concerns,” Najar said. There have been several ideas tossed around with the latest plan connecting trails on north Mississippi Avenue with pedestrian and bike paths along the Spring River Path from 8th Street going north.

Previous proposals include using the utility alley behind homes, but many residents were not happy with that idea. “So right now, the biggest concern that I see is no matter where we put it, people want a connection –just not in my front yard or backyard,” said Najar.

A previous proposal was estimated to cost $110,000. The new proposal along Mississippi Avenue would be a quarter of that with local nonprofit “Friends of the Spring River” saying they will cover part of the cost. The city does want to get the ball rolling on the project soon though and said this would be a huge benefit for the community.

“We will try to help out with the walking trails and connection to the trails. Besides this, another thing we want to look at is improving walkability around the schools around the bus stops and around the downtown businesses,” Najar said.

The city engineers are finalizing the total cost of the project to take to the parks and recreation committee on the 16th and then the final approval by the city council.

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