Park users look forward to trail connection, improvements

Work is underway to connect a new trail portion to the city of Las Vegas’ trail system. The Bonanza Trail Phase 3 project includes a new trail connection at Torrey Pines Drive and U.S. Highway 95 and an enhanced connection at Bill Briare Family Park, 650 N. Tenaya Way.

The news was greeted with positive remarks by park users.

“It allows you to get to other places that you couldn’t get to by riding your bike on the street or by walking,” said Robert Parker, who was at the park with his wife, Daniella, and their German shepherd, Stacey. “You walk on the sidewalk, and they’re dirty. Trails are a little cleaner because they’re not used that much. And you can ride your bicycle and not worry about traffic.”

Jordan McDonald lives nearby and was walking her Jack Russell terrier, Wiley, something she said she does two or three times a day. She said it was a good thing that the trails would be connected.

“It means a lot more safe places to walk rather than walking along the road,” McDonald said. “Being a dog owner, it means more places to … do a circle maybe, go out and explore and make your walk a little more interesting.”

She said she also likes to run and would use the trail for that.

Motorists on Summerlin Parkway may have noticed the workers’ trucks and construction fencing at the park. Bathroom facilities are being added in preparation of a seamless trail. The project also includes new trail lighting between Lorenzi Street and Jones Boulevard and new restrooms and a shade structure where the trail meets Torrey Pines Drive.

Earlier work on the Bonanza Trail connected Bill Briare Family Park to the Kellogg-Zaher Sports Complex, 7901 W. Washington Ave.

Jorge Cervantes is the director of public works for the city of Las Vegas. He said working on a trail that traverses an established area would have been disruptive if not for pre-planning.

“It’s more difficult than when you have open space,” he said. “We’re fortunate because there was some excess right-of-way adjacent to the U.S. 95 highway that we were able to use to build the trail.”

That excess, between Rainbow Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive, was frontage left over from the U.S. Highway 95 widening project. About two years ago, the city widened a section of sidewalk in one portion, making them 10 feet wide, so they could be included as part of the trail system. As portions were completed, they were added to the trail map.

“The trail actually goes all the way from Rainbow … to downtown,” Cervantes said. “The different jurisdictions worked together to make sure we’ve got connectivity.”

The bathroom facilities being built at Bill Briare Family Park are an important component to establishing the park as a trailhead, he said. Other than that, he said the most disruption residents will see are little Bobcats needed to drill the foundations where light poles go in. Residents won’t see any big equipment.

“The Bonanza Trail connects to the Lone Mountain Trail, which then runs north and south … that one goes from Lone Mountain Road and down to Summerlin Parkway,” Cervantes said. “It’s convenient because the Lone Mountain portion of it goes adjacent to one of our drainage facilities. So it doesn’t really cut through neighborhoods, it goes between neighborhoods, and so it allows you to really have a wide open area where you don’t have to worry about traffic.”

There are about 50 miles of trails and 11 miles of equestrian trails in place in the city. Phase 3 is a $1.5 million project funded by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act and the Nevada Division of State Parks and Recreation. Work is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

The city’s ultimate goal is to construct a 239-mile trail network that will connect Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the outlying northwest and west areas through downtown Las Vegas to the mature east Las Vegas neighborhoods.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

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