Commissioners Pave Way For Deer Creek Trail Extension

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SHAWNEE Co., Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County Commissioners paved the way for plans to extend a trail that would connect downtown Topeka with Lake Shawnee.

Shawnee County's parks division is applying for a federal grant, administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation, to extend the Deer Creek Trail by another two miles.

Commissioner today voted unanimously to endorse the plan which would extend the existing trail from where it currently ends at SE 10th Street to SE 29th Street.

The proposed trail would open Lake Shawnee to downtown Topeka and connect to the Shunga trail.

Parks Director Terry Bertels says the total cost of the trail extension is about $1.5 million dollars. The federal grant, if approved, would provide 80 percent of money, or about $1.3 million.

"We're estimating the cost to the county, if we go from where the trail ends to 29th and Lake Shawnee, the cost to the county would be the 20 percent match, which is about $306,000 plus design fees," Bertels said.

Design fees for the trail would be about $40,000, he said.

Parks officials are hoping to include a bridge over I-70 as part of the trail. That bridge is owned by the Kansas Turnpike Authority and it would cost the county another $525,000 to have a pedestrian walkway over the bridge. Design fees for the bridge are covered by KTA.

Bertels says the source for Shawnee County's part of the bill for the bridge and the trail have not yet been identified - he said that's going to be the next step after they've secured the federal grant.