DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - A project that's been in the planning stages for more than 5 years is set to begin soon. In July we told you about the Heritage Walking Trail.
The 3-mile-long trail starts at the Simmons Center and will form a loop. The project will be built in 3 phases starting this year and finish in 2020. Construction on Phase 1 will start in the next few months.
Duncan resident Joshua Wigginton enjoys bringing his kid to the Park at the Simmons Center. Wigginton said the Heritage Trail will allow people and families to explore the nature side of Duncan.
"We can take our strollers with our little babies all throughout the park, give us a good chance for our little girl to meet other kids her age. I think it will be perfect for the town," said Wigginton.
Several community leaders and organizations decided to jump start the project, but finding the perfect location was at the top of the list.
"We identified this area out by the Simmons Center and the hospital and down Whisenant Park to Beech as a good areas to have the trails," said Stone.
Chair of the Heritage Trail Coalition Group, Scott Stone said the trail will be divided into 3 different phases. It will be 3 miles long and 10 feet wide.Phase 1 will cover about 2 miles and start from the Simmons Center, pass along the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, down through Elk Avenue and around the hospital and Whisenant Park.
The project cost over a million dollars. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation awarded an $800,000 grant to start the project. The Duncan Regional Hospital and The McCasland Foundation contributed the rest of the cost.
Phase 2 will be a nature trail that goes through the woods behind the Simmons Center.
"Instead of being a sidewalk along the streets its going to actually cut through property that's owned by the Simmons Center, the Heritage Center and the hospital," said Stone.
It will also include bronze statues, gardens ,and historical markers to teach the history of Duncan, and southern Oklahoma.Stone adds the Heritage Trail will enhance safety and the quality of life.
"We have a lot of runner that go up the Chisholm Trail Parkway this will get them off the streets and onto a more safe environment to walk run, bicycle," said Stone.
Phase 1 and 2 should complete by next summer.Phase 3 will connect with Phase 1, but construction wont start until 2020.