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Addition to be Made to Wichita Falls Circle Trail Plans

A city-wide project is coming in under budget, so officials are adding to their plans for the Wichita Falls Circle Trail thanks to leftover grant money.  The trail is an expansion of the city's Hike and Bike Trail originally built in 1987.  The expansion project has been in the works for four years.
    Designers of the 23-mile Wichita Falls Circle Trail initially wanted a parking lot constructed with the trail, but after crunching the numbers, they didn't think it was within their budget.
    But now, It might be.
    Russell Schreiber, Wichita Falls public works director, says, "There were some additional federal dollars left that were available for that project.  What we want to do is expand that project to include a parking lot on the end of the trail system at the end of the 80 acre Bluff site."
    The project will cost about $147-thousand, and officials say the parking lot will be built in a central location.
    "It's a great point of access for the trail, especially when the trail gets expanded through the 80 acre site into Lucy Park," Schreiber says.
    The current leg of the project should be completed by the end of the summer.
    Jack Murphy, Wichita Falls parks and recreation director, says, "At the moment we are completing the project on Seymour Highway and Barnett Road, which, when completed, we'll have about 18 and a half miles toward the ultimate whole 23 miles Circle Trail around Wichita Falls."
    The next gap workers will fill in is between Lucy Park and the Wichita Bluff open space.
    Murphy expects that to be complete within the next year.
    "We can see the end and hopefully in the next couple years or so we'll be able to complete these three gaps that remain in the trail and have a nice, wonderful trail system for our community."
    Officials say there will be several parking spaces in the lot, along with handicapped parking spots, and also large spaces where buses can park so groups can can go on field trips.
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