Groundbreaking marks the start of Pond Branch Linear Trail

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Mansfield city leaders joined together April 24 to officially break ground on the Pond Branch Linear Trail, the newest addition to the city’s award-winning park system.

The first phase of downtown’s walkable, ridable trail begins at Kimball Street and continues along the Pond Branch creek to end near Sycamore Street.

“This is another important step in the revitalization of Historic Downtown Mansfield,” said Mayor David L. Cook. “More than 125 years ago this area of our city was the heart of a growing community. Today, the borders of our city are much wider and the number of its citizens significantly greater. But the historic downtown is still the heart of our community. It’s where we gather to celebrate, listen to music, enjoy dinner with friends.

“As we continue to reimagine what historic downtown will look like and what it will mean to our city’s future, we also look for ways to connect this important place to the rest of our community,” he said. “The Pond Branch trail will extend the Walnut Creek Linear trail system into downtown, bringing a vital part of our parks and recreation system into our historic downtown, connecting an important part of our city’s past with a vital part of its future.”

Work continues on a planned Phase II connection to Katherine Rose Memorial Park that would run under the Union Pacific Railroad track and eventually have an on-street connection to Town Park as part of the overall master plan. The finished trail will function similarly to the Walnut Creek Linear Trail, with 10 foot-wide paved paths that can accommodate bikers, runners, strollers and anyone out for a leisurely stroll.

“Mansfield Park Facilities Development Corporation is proud to see the Pond Branch trail get underway and add another community park to our award-winning department, which is really all thanks to our staff,” said MPFDC Board President Harold Bell. “It’s easy for us to sit on boards and make big decisions and plans, but they’re the ones who put in the work to make it happen. They make us all look good as a city, and I know we all can’t wait to see what they do with this project.”

Officials are applauding the location, given all the recent development in and around the historic downtown business district. Guests will be able to enjoy a drink or bite to eat at local restaurants then hit the trail. The project includes a bridge, eight foot tall monuments. Work on Phase 1 should be completed by winter of 2017.

“There are exciting things happening in Mansfield and especially in our historic downtown,” Mayor Cook said. “We look forward to Historic Downtown Mansfield being a destination for our residents, our new businesses and for visitors.”

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