Nearly 10 years ago, a 2,000 foot asphalt walking trail was built in Nall Park. Not long after, a Boy Scout Troop took on the task of building a trail to connect the walking path in Nall Park to the Roeland Park Community Center which lies to the east and up hill.
That connector trail was closed by the city in 2014 because erosion and deterioration made it unsafe. A new study for the city has come up with three possible routes to make a trail connection between the park and the community center. The city council will be considering the options, which run from approximately $50,000 to more than $150,000, in the near future. The council authorized the engineering study in March.
Matt Eblen of Shafer, Kline and Warren told the council that one of the challenges in building the connector trail is the steep drop of 25 feet from the community center to Nall Park. To be ADA compliant, Eblen said, the trail cannot have a grade of more than five percent or a five-foot drop over every 100 feet. A second issue is the erosion that is caused by the drainage pattern that comes down the hill from the community center.
A study of the area produced three options which start at the northwest corner of the community center either near the sports dome or the parking area to the west of the center. The cheapest option uses a set of stairs to move down the hill to the Nall Park path. The stairs are not ADA compliant.
The most expensive option uses a series of switchbacks and flat landings and makes use of the old Boy Scout trail when possible. It also includes a storm drainage system that corrects the erosion problem on the hillside. It also has the possibility of extending the path around the front of the community center to connect with neighborhood sidewalks.
The cost estimates anticipate a 10-foot wide trail. It is possible to add gutters along the side of the options that allow for bikes to be walked up. The council did not discuss the proposal in detail Monday.