More than 14 miles of new hike and bike trails are planned along Sims Bayou, Mayor Annise Parker announced on Friday. The $7 million project, developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will run from Interstate 45 to Croquette Street in southeast Houston, linking seven city parks, including Reveille Park, Stuart Park, Law Park, Sims Bayou Park, the County’s Hill at Sims Park, Scottcrest Park, and Townwood Park.
“My goal is for cyclists to start at one point and be able to ride all the way to the other side of the city on bikeways."
The first phase, scheduled to begin in late fall, will include a 3.1 mile path from I-45 to Stuart Park, with concrete trails similar to existing ones along Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou. The project, the first in five phases scheduled to be completed by fall 2015, will include picnic shelters, park benches, picnic tables, drinking fountains with dog bowls, parking lots and lighting.
“My goal is for cyclists to start at one point and be able to ride all the way to the other side of the city on bikeways," Parker said in a statement. "The Bayou Greenways initiative approved by voters last year envisions our bayous serving dual purposes of essential flood control as well as traffic free paths in extended green settings. With this project, Sims Bayou will remain an important component of our drainage system, but it will also be enjoyed on a daily basis by many Houstonians.”
Most of the cost will be covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The City of Houston and Houston Parks Board are responsible for paying for the planned recreation amenities and acquisition of three remaining land parcels needed to complete the project., the mayor said.
The project comes on the heels of a $6.5 million Transportation Enhancement Program announced in August. It will connect existing trails, parks, bus and METRO rail stop and neighborhoods along Brays Bayou as well as fund an ongoing flood control project on Hunting Bayou.