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Officials press on with Santa Fe River trail project

January 22, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The long-running restoration and trail project along the Santa Fe River is moving along.

Santa Fe County started construction on a mile-long stretch of the River Trail between Frenchy’s Field and Siler Road in November and expects the work to be complete by July, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported .

Scott Kaseman, who has been the county’s project manager for the River Trail and Greenway since 2013, said ideally the River Trail will extend underneath the Siler Road overpass and include routes from either side of the road, extending the paved commuter path for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“I didn’t want to ride my bike before because it was super sketch,” said Michael Naiman, a bicyclist who was walking in the area of the new path Wednesday. “But now it’s going to be quicker. I think it will change the whole potential of this place. I think in two or three years, this will have a huge impact.”

The project, officially called the Santa Fe River Greenway, is a collaboration between the city and the county, each of which oversees a different part of the project area.

As project engineers move along, they replant the banks. Between Frenchy’s Field and Siler Road, Kaseman’s crew plans to plant 150 cottonwood trees and 15,000 willow stalks.

For an idea of how it will look, Kaseman pointed toward the San Ysidro Crossing area, completed in 2013.

“The willows are huge. The cottonwoods, some of them are 20, 30 feet high. . It’s just beautiful, and that is what this site is going to look like,” he said.

“Once we’re done,” he added, “it’s not going to be like it was 100 years ago. But it’s going to look closer than it does now.”

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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