By Bianca Pahl
Utah State University will be welcoming the Canyon Connector Trail, which will connect the campus to hiking trails in the canyon and some urban areas in Logan within the next two years.
“This is a critical connection between the university and the canyon,” said Jeff Gilbert, the transportation planner for Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The new 10-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian trail will provide a safe route for non-vehicle commuters along U.S. Route 89, contribute to reducing single occupancy vehicles and provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“If a safe way of transportation is constructed then it will encourage people to get out of their cars and onto bikes,” said Jordy Guth, the person in charge of planning and funding for the trail.
The trail will start at 1200 East, 700 North and will run parallel to the highway with a buffer in between the highway’s shoulder and the trail. It will link up to First Dam and provide access to Bonneville trails and canyon forest trails.
A survey conducted by USU Facilities showed that 75 percent of 3,000 students surveyed said they would use this trail if it were constructed.
USU will fund and maintain the upper half of the trail and Logan City will fund and maintain the lower half.
The trail has been submitted as a capital improvement request to the state. Guth said grants will be applied for in January 2016 and the people involved with the trail’s creation anticipate the grants will be awarded in the spring of 2016.
“We’re very optimistic,” Guth said. “People are very enthusiastic and keen on getting it going.”
The estimated cost for the whole project is $500,000. USU’s share will cost about $200,000 and Logan City and grants will cover the rest. Guth said the estimates at this point are very rough and could increase or decrease by 20 percent.