Presenter: Kathryn Nichols

Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Land Donation – Limestone County
January 1998

I. Discussion: In August 1996, the Department in partnership with Limestone County was awarded a Texas Department of Transportation ISTEA Enhancement grant to construct a bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting Fort Parker State Park with Old Fort Parker Historical Park. The trail route will be located on existing public land within the boundaries of the two state parks, following County Road 402 and Park Road 3, and across a metal truss bridge over the Navasota River. For the trail to be a continuous corridor, it will be necessary for Limestone County to close the bridge which it currently owns to vehicular traffic and to transfer the bridge and the underlying right-of-way to the department. The Limestone County Commissioners Court has held public hearings to vacate the approximately one-tenth of a mile of county roadway that contains the bridge, and the County stands ready to transfer title to the department at no cost. The underlying right-of-way contains approximately one acre of land.

The bridge, a 1920 Warren pony truss highway bridge, was constructed by the State Highway Department as part of the original State Highway 14. It has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance as an early, intact example of a highway department metal truss bridge. Its concrete and metal approach railings are the only surviving example of its kind in the state. Funds in the ISTEA enhancement project will provide for restoration and repainting of the bridge, will adapt it for bicycle and pedestrian use, and will construct the new trail connecting the parks. The Commission approved $25,000 of matching funds for this project as part of the FY 1997 Capital Program. Accepting the donation of the bridge and right-of-way land will allow the department to obtain $97,000 of Enhancement Funds from the Texas Department of Transportation.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Executive Director is authorized to take all necessary steps to consummate the acceptance of the property indicated in Exhibit A."

Attachments - 2

1. Exhibit A - Location Map
2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note

(Exhibits A and B are available upon request.)