Proposal deadline nears for Emerald Trail project submissions

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The deadline for firms to submit their proposals for the Emerald Trail project is Wednesday. The project would revitalize downtown Jacksonville and connect the city’s urban core.

Firms have until 2 p.m. Wednesday to submit their proposals for the string of connected parks, trails and green spaces through Jacksonville’s Urban Core. 

Last month, the city council approved the groundwork to create 30 miles of trails. It will take several years before the final project is complete. Less than three weeks ago, hundreds walked the first-mile walk of the Emerald Trail in Jacksonville’s urban core to celebrate the opening day of the trails, and the Emerald Trail project.

With proposals to build the project due Wednesday afternoon, the project is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Groundwork Jacksonville CEO Kay Ehas said the trails, parks and bike paths will connect 14 urban core neighborhoods from downtown to the river, and to the creeks. Ehas said it will also connect to 18 public schools, two colleges, and 28 parks directly, and will be within three blocks of another 20 schools and 20 parks.

The master plan will be constructed in two tiers:

  • The first will include nearly 7 miles of new trail at a cost of approximately $13.59 million
  • The second includes 14.1 miles of new trails at a projected cost of $17.44 million

Construction of the massive trail project is scheduled to begin next year with a 1-mile segment of the route set to be complete in 10 years.

Ehas said the next big step will be to design and build the Model project. That’s a 1.3-mile portion of the Emerald Trail designed to give community members a glimpse of what the finished project would look like.

The goal is to have the Model Project completed in 2020.

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