ALTA Planning + Design and KLJ Engineering have provided updated design boards and concepts for public review and comment on the new trail that will extend from the existing Meridian Trail through the middle of town easterly to just across (US 2) Idaho. The City of Kalispell would love your continued input. The open house events are scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 11, from 5 to 7 pm at City Hall, (201 First Ave. East) and Wednesday, October 10, from 11 am to 2 pm at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce located at 15 Depot Park.
The city had an action packed summer as we began the first steps of preparing a design for the Kalispell Trail. Over 600 people attended open houses, workshops and meetings during the Kalispell Trail Deep Dive event the first week in June. Another 300 community members visited our booth at the Flathead County Fair. As summer wound down, city staff set up a booth at Picnic in the Park and Thursday Fest with another 150 people stopping by. We received many thoughtful comments. As you know, the new trail will extend from the existing Meridian Trail on Meridian Road, through the middle of town easterly to just across the underpass bridge on US 2 (Idaho). We still need your input and hope to see you at one of the upcoming open house events.
The Kalispell Trail Crew, a 22-member advisory board, has met 3 times this summer with more meetings scheduled. Their job is to review all the public comments and give city staff guidance as we continue to refine the trail design. Our goal is to have a final design in hand by early 2019 and then we will begin the difficult task of going through the “Master Design” and setting up a priority list of the things that we can afford now and what items will wait for future funding. This will truly be a community driven process. Our goal is to cast a grand vision with community groups, individuals, and future adjacent developments filling in the rest over time. We anticipate that the railroad tracks will be coming out of Kalispell sometime next fall as CHS and Northwest Drywall finish their relocation plans to the new Glacier Rail Park. You may have seen both the CHS fertilizer plant and the CHS grain handling facility (elevator) are literally coming up out of the ground at the new rail park. Much still needs to happen but we are hoping for track removal and trail construction beginning in the spring of 2020.
A second and equally important part of this project is the construction of at least one “complete street” allowing an improved street connection between Idaho and Center. Three routes were originally selected – extending 8th Ave. West, extending 6th Ave. West, and extending Woodland Avenue. This summer we focused on the Woodland Ave. extension because we knew that while it rated fairly high in overall community support, there has been long standing neighborhood opposition dating back over 20 years from residents along Woodland Avenue. The neighborhood (Center Street to Willow Glen) reaffirmed theiropposition to this street extension during a very thorough scoping process. Based on the strong public showing, the trail crew recommended that this option be removed. We will continue to review the other options.
The City and partners are also excited to announce the Grand Opening of the Glacier Rail Park on October 8, at 10 a.m. Please join us for refreshments following the ceremony. RSVP to Dorothy Meyer at email@example.com or call 406.257-7711. The Rail Park is located at 801 Whitefish Stage. Please enter the event site from Flathead Drive.
For continuing updates on the Kalispell Core & Rail Redevelopment project, follow the City's Facebook page or the Core & Rail website at www.kalispellcoreandrail.com.