Lafayette Heritage Trail Park Pedestrian Bridge
The Canopy Walkway grand opening was held on March 4, 2014. The walkway provides a safe connection over the CSX railroad tracks between Lafayette Heritage Trail Park and J.R. Alford Greenway. It is much more than just a bridge though. It is great experience and a destination that people want to go to. Built in harmony with nature, the walkway weaves through the trees and provides incredible, bird's eye views.
Previously, there was no official, designated trail connection in this area, causing many trail visitors to use an unofficial, unsafe, at-grade crossing over the railroad tracks. This project has been in the works for 15 years and completes a critical connection in the Tallahassee-Leon County's Greenway Master Plan, linking more than 1,600 acres of the greenway system.
Being so close to the Swift Creek Middle School, we hope this project will open the door for more outdoor, environmental educational experiences. Not just for the young, this walkway provides an interpretive platform for natural history, cultural and archaeological resources for all ages.
Users may access the Canopy Walkway from Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, located at 49000 Heritage Park Blvd. It is roughly a two mile hike or bike ride to the walkway from the park's main entrance, which is accessed by taking Conner Blvd. to Heritage Trail Park Blvd. The walkway can also be accessed from the J.R. Alford Greenway, located at 2500 Pedrick Road.
The southern walkway spans 585 feet and rises up 40 feet to meet the bridge. After crossing the 133-foot, prefabricated box truss, weathering steel bridge, the northern walkway takes visitors 130 feet back down to solid ground. From there, it's a short walk to the greenway's parking lot, just over a quarter mile. The bridge also has a metal roof and wooden boardwalk.
The contractor for the project was Nature Bridges, JD James Inc., a Tallahassee-based company that specializes in top down timber construction and building in sensitive environments.
Approved by the City Commission in 2007, the total project cost approximately $1.3 million. A portion of the project was funded by a $250,000 federal recreational trails grant. Blueprint 2000 contributed $500,000, and the remainder was funded by the City through its share of the sales tax extension dollars.
For more information, contact Susan Tanski, Senior Park Planner, at 933-0345. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest park news by liking the department on Facebook and following @COTParks on Twitter.