(City of Pocatello Press Release, May 19, 2021)
You’ll soon have a new path to take on your walks around Pocatello.
Wednesday, May 19 crews began work on the Benton Connection trail. The 300-foot long, 10-foot wide non-motorized pathway will run along the north side of the Benton Street Bridge and will connect South 1st Avenue to South 2nd Avenue. Benton Connection will be paved end-to-end, feature lighting, and serve as a connecting link in the Portneuf Greenway Trail system.
“The completion of this trail will be an important step in connecting Idaho State University to Historic Downtown Pocatello,” said Maggie Clark, Project Manager for the City of Pocatello. “This land was unused City right of way paralleling the Benton Street Bridge so a shared-use path makes sense.”
Looking ahead, the City will be seeking grant dollars to paint the path, bridge columns, and abutment.
“The vision for this project is not just a trail but a unique experience with colorful art referencing the history of the railroad,” Clark said.
Benton Connection was identified as a potential project to improve the historic Warehouse District during the “Terry First” series of events in 2018. The goal of Terry First was to create a vision for the Terry Street/South First Avenue corridor that will spur economic development, support redevelopment, increase bicycle and pedestrian mobility, and improve the connection between Idaho State University and Historic Downtown Pocatello.
“It is exciting to implement more of the Terry First recommendations,” Clark said. “Benton Connection will provide an alternative to crossing Benton Street which can be daunting for pedestrians.”
The estimated construction cost for the trail is $65,259 and it is being funded by a $24,500 grant from the Idaho State Department of Parks and Recreation, $10,000 Ifft Foundation grant, $10,649 in City funds and in-kind labor, as well as federal sources.
The project is anticipated to be complete in July, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the completion date may change.