Two Plans For New Trail and Bridge

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COLUMBIA - Residents interested in plans for a new trail and bridge along Forum Boulevard showed up Thursday evening to see them and offer opinions. 

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The city is proposing two different options.

In one plan, the trail will start near the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail and will run on the east side of Forum Blvd. 

In the other plan, the trail will start near the MKT Trail and flow west of Forum Blvd. 

Both trails would be around 3,550 feet and would also be built with a pedestrian bridge over Hinkson Creek. 

At the meeting, Columbia residents were able to see both proposals and pose questions and formulate opinions.

The trail would be around 10 feet wide and be parallel to Forum Blvd. on its respected side. 

Scott Bitterman, the street manager for Columbia Public Works, says both proposals were created for pedestrian safety. 

"It is a location that has been identified as part of our 'getabout' program," he said. "The project is really a safety improvement."

"We hope to make the passage way for pedestrians and bicyclists safer," Bitterman said. "It gets the pedestrians and bicyclists a place to ride and walk that would be off the vehicle bridge."

Bitterman felt positive about the residents' feedback.

"From what I've seen, most people are approving of the project," Bitterman said. "They are saying they like this (proposal) more than that (proposal).

Along with the trail and bridge there will also be a new left turn for the drivers as well. 

Bitterman says the proposals will be presented to the city council and be voted upon.  

This project is expected to be completed next year.

Here is a map of both proposals.