Bikers and hikers will have a paved path on the south side of the Boise River from Logger's Pond off ParkCenter Boulevard almost to Eagle Road, if all goes according to plan.
Right now, the Boise River Greenbelt south of the river stops at Americana Boulevard and picks back up west of Main Street in Garden City. People who want to stay on the Greenbelt cross to the north side of the river until at least Main Street, where they can cross back to the south side.
Boise Parks and Recreation has begun engineering the segment of paved path, which is 12 feet wide by about 4,100 feet long. The city has long planned to build the path. Parks and Recreation's comprehensive plan, published in 2011, made completion of the Americana-to-Garden City segment a priority.
The city is now working out the finer details, such as easements, rights-of-way and underpasses at Main Street and Fairview Avenue, Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.
"The last connection on both sides is that piece right there, so that's why we're excited about it, Holloway said. "Now, you (won't) have people crossing back and forth. They actually now will be able to, on the Garden City side, come right into and connect to the city."
It's not the last piece of pathway Boise expects to build, Holloway said. A couple of sections are planned for the Harris Ranch area, and other new segments will be built to connect new developments to the main riverside paths.
The budget for the 4,100-foot section is slightly more than $1 million. A grant from the Idaho Transportation Department will cover almost all of the cost, Holloway said. The city will pay only a small portion about $75,000 from an account that accumulates money from impact fees charged to developers.
Holloway said the path will be concrete instead of asphalt pavement. That fits with a broader push by the department to replace deteriorating asphalt with longer-lasting concrete, he said. Besides pathways, Parks and Recreation also is putting concrete on tennis courts.
Even though concrete is significantly more expensive, Holloway said, it provides a better ride for cyclists and lasts so much longer that it will save the city money.
Sven Berg: 377-6275