Hike & Bike Trail
Runners, exercise enthusiasts, and families alike, all can enjoy the Hike and Bike Trails here in Melissa!
The First phase of the planned forty-one miles of Hike and Bike Trails in Melissa opened in May 2012 and runs along Melissa Road from U.S. 75 to Fannin Road and up Fannin Road between Melissa Road and Cardinal Drive.
This project has been many years in the making. The City was first awarded the TEA-21 federal grant through TxDOT in 2001 originally intended to be used to install sidewalks for pedestrian traffic along many of the downtown streets to the elementary and middle schools. However, according to City Engineer Bob Helmberger, soon after receiving approval for the grant, the City of Melissa entered a time of unprecedented growth and development and it became apparent that the streets that were identified for sidewalks under the TEA-21 grant were going to need to be reconstructed to accommodate the increased traffic load. As moving forward with construction of sidewalks on roads that would be reconstructed did not make economic sense, the City asked TxDOT to allow for a redefinition in scope of the project to install the sidewalk along the roads planned for reconstruction. TxDOT agreed to allow the project to be re-defined, but the roads along which the sidewalks could be constructed first had to be reconstructed.
The first phase of the Melissa Road reconstruction was completed in 2006 and then Fannin Road followed in 2010. Finally, the stage was set for the TEA-21 grant to be utilized to construct a sidewalk along Fannin Road from State Highway 5 to Melissa Road and along Melissa Road from Fannin Road to U.S. 75, thus paving the way to beginning our trail system. Once this step was complete City Council worked with staff to articulate a vision for the hike and bike trail and the associated amenities. In October 2011 construction began and the final result is on display today.
The trail is lined with lampposts, has covered seating areas with rod iron benches throughout, and also offers exercise stations for adults. The trail system offers not only a safe route to schools for our children but also an opportunity for our residents and their families to safely exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
"The City Council believes this is another step in the direction of making the City of Melissa a premier community in North Texas," stated City Manager Jason Little. Studies have shown that trail systems transform not only the visual landscape of a community but the economic, wellness, and daily quality of life. Trail systems provide physical connection within a community which in turn leads to a greater sense of connection and community spirit among residents.
"I encourage all our residents to come out and take advantage of this new addition to our City;" stated Mayor Greer. "Also make sure you come by at night as well, the lights are really something."