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Chester Creek Construction Expected This Summer

Published On: Feb 04 2014 10:40:49 PM AKST   Updated On: Feb 04 2014 10:43:08 PM AKST

Reporter Caslon Hatch/Photographer Rick Schleyer


One of the city’s most popular trails is about to get a serious makeover.

A project years in the making, Anchorage’s Parks and Recreation department says reconstruction on the Chester Creek Trail is expected to start this summer, beginning at one of the most popular spots, Westchester Lagoon.

“It will make life much easier getting around, especially in a hand cycle,” said Ira Edwards, who gets around by a wheel chair.

For Edwards, making improvements to the Chester Creek Trail is vital when it comes to his marathon training. He participated in three marathons just last year.

“There are some ruts, and for me if I pop a tire it’s a lot more of a project,” he said. “I can’t really just walk my bike around and change my tire.”

For Nancy Bale, it’s a leisurely bike ride or a walk in the park that she enjoys most.

“There are some problems with cracks and roots, and then down by Westchester, that’s a very social path, and I’m very glad to hear they are going to improve it first,” said Bale.

“We’re going to start this year at mile post zero, which is actually Westchester Lagoon, and we’re going to tackle the first phase just one mile up to Arctic Boulevard,” said Maeve Nevins, city park planner with the Parks and Recreation Department.

Tuesday evening Nevins laid out the framework for the first phase of the reconstruction of the Chester Creek Trail.

“The goal is to construct a trail that will withstand environmental effects and flooding,” Nevins said.

The plan is to address several elements, including replacing cracked asphalt, repair bridges and improve and replace trail signs.

Construction is expected to begin this summer, weather permitting.

Although construction starts during one of the most popular times of the year, the parks department says detour routes will be available and the trails will reopen for special events like the Mayor’s Marathon.