KALISPELL – The City of Kalispell has begun design on the Kalispell Trail, which is expected to spur urban redevelopment.
Earlier this month, the city gathered feedback from the community on a variety of design options. Hundreds of comments were collected.
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce Chairman Joe Unterreiner says that now a project team will use that public input to create a concept design.
"We are looking forward to the "work product" that comes out of the consultants as a result of the open houses that were at the Chamber and the railroad car tours of the downtown area on the rail," Unterreiner said.
Community input reveals a historical design theme for the trail is preferred, but not one that feels old, with suggested activity nodes for all-age play areas, public art, landscaping, water features restrooms and at least one new public event space for concerts and farmer’s markets.
Unterreiner says the possibilities for urban renewal are endless.
"For visitors and for citizens to enjoy more retail dining and entertainment options downtown and just a great quality of life with a trail through downtown Kalispell," Unterreiner said.
Earlier phases of the project completed this Fall involved the design and construction of the Glacier Rail Park.
CHS broke ground at their new facility there last week securing the city for removal of the railroad tracks downtown to make way for the trail.
"It’s just a tremendous opportunity for Kalispell to realize more of its urban-oriented future," said Unterreiner.
The team will begin working on construction plans this Fall with an expected groundbreaking on the trail in 2020.
The project was first launched in 2012 and is partially-funded by a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For updates, follow the City of Kalispell’s Facebook page or check the Trail & Complete Street tab on the Core & Rail website.