Earlier in the month, I wrote about the trail-related community stewardship programs that were being done in conjunction with the Intercounty Connector (ICC) Project. These are trails in addition to the ICC Trail itself.
Since writing that post, I've talked to Rob Shreeve, of SHA's Environmental Management Team on the ICC project and have more details and up-to-date descriptions of those projects.
Paint Branch Trail Extension - Originally there was to be a trail along Old Gunpowder Road and they even went as far as drawing up sketches of it. But Officials within M-NCCPC asked to build a path along Cherry Hill Road instead, in part because they think they can get developers to build the trail along Old Gunpowder. This project would continue the Paint Branch Trail from its terminus to the Beltsville Community Center on Sellman Road (it's one of two "proposed" trails on the old ATTS map - going off the top of the map). Shreeve told me it was a sidepath, but since the community center is pretty far from Cherry Hill Road, but right along Paint Branch, I wonder if the path just uses Cherry Hill Road to cross the Beltway and then follows Paint Branch for 1.5 miles to the Center. Because they were so far along in their Gunpowder Road planning, and have done very little with this; they're negotiating with the county on how to proceed. They could either pay the county what the trail would cost (a plan I do not like, for I fear that money would disappear) or start from scratch and build the trail in a couple of years.
Lake Frank Connector Trail - Originally, this project involved removing two parking lots around Lake Frank that are no longer used and rebuilding the Lake Frank trail through that area, but they have since been directed to build a connector trail instead. The new trail - which paves an existing billygoat trail - will run about a half a mile along the edge of Rock Creek Park parallel to Lake Terrace Drive and will connect on the south to the Rock Creek Park Trail spur near Norbeck Road and on the north to the Lake Frank Trail. There is some local opposition to this as at times trail users would be able to see into the back yards of people who live on Lake Terrace Drive.
Muncaster Mill Road Sidepath - This project extends a sidepath on the south side of Muncaster Mill Road (MD115) about 1100 feet from Applewood Lane to Olde Mill Run Road, so that it connects to Redland Middle School. It's currently under design. The right of way is narrow, so they're working with neighbors to deal with those issues. The hope to be finished with this project by summer 2011.
[This trail will eventually become part of the ICC trail. The ICC Trail will follow Needwood from the intersection with the ICC north to Muncaster then west to Applewood (which includes this piece) then south on Applewood where someday it will meet up with the Midcounty Highway Extended, along which it will follow straight to the existing intersection of Shady Grove Road and the existing Midcounty HighwayAt the ICC/Needwood Rd crossing, a westbound ICC trail user would also be able to turn south onto the Needwood Road sidepath instead of north, and then to the Shady Grove Metro Station on Redland Road. Thanks to Jack Cochrane for the bracketed information.
Layhill Park Spur - The ICC crosses Layhill Road just south of Layhill Park (or Layhill Local Park on the picture). This project will build a short spur from the ICC trail to the Park. Not sure where on the map it would run.
Wayfinding - They're working with Montgomery County Parks and the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area to define a signage system to direct users to various trail heads.
All of these trails will be built 8-10 feet wide - to current AASHTO standards I was told. They'll all have a storm water management plan, and they're looking at pervious materials they can use. They doubt they'll have to cut down any big trees, and will avoid it wherever possible.
It's a little over two miles of trail and about 50 signs, altogether.