The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) recently committed $8.2 million toward the engineering design of the 26-mile Cotton Belt Trail and will give $19.5 million toward the construction of 8.5 miles of the trail.
The trail is part of the DART Cotton Belt commuter rail line project.
According to the RTC, the Cotton Belt commuter rail and the parallel regional trail project will extend through seven cities including Coppell. The trail is expected to connect with the existing Cotton Belt Trail in Grapevine.
"The Cotton Belt Trail has been on the Coppell Trail Master Plan for many years, without a real time-frame for implementation due to the anticipated cost of construction and uncertainties related to development in the DART right of way,” said Brad Reid, Coppell Parks and Recreation director. “However, portions of the trail now seem to be very possible in the near future because of a shift in the timing of the passenger rail service to be developed along the Cotton Belt line, and because of funding through the Regional Transportation Council for primary trail sections along the corridor.”
The trail’s design and construction will be completed by DART along with the Cotton Belt commuter rail, which is expected to open in late 2022. According the RTC, the trail will better enable residents to walk or ride their bikes to transit stations along the commuter rail line.
“Completion of the Cotton Belt Trail system will add many miles of regional trail availability to Coppell residents, making connections to D/FW (International) Airport and points west, as well as east through Carrollton and beyond,” Reid said. “It will also make easy access to the Campion Trail to the south.”