Northeast Tarrant

Park additions will make it a Cottonbelt Trail destination

L.D. Lockett Park may become the city’s premiere spot for walkers, runners and cyclists to enter the region-spanning Cottonbelt Trail.

City Council reviewed plans to add amenities to the park making it a destination along the 11 mile trail, which runs through North Richland Hills, Grapevine and the city.

City leaders also decided to increase the budget of the project to add restrooms similar to those at McPherson Park. The addition would costs $169,000 bringing the project’s budget to $500,000.

“Restrooms are no longer an amenity when you have to go,” councilman Tom Hart said.

Plans for the 4.5-acre park that feeds into the Cottonbelt Trail would include a water station, bicycle repair station, pavilion, children’s playground and adult outdoor fitness equipment. Now the park has the trailhead and an old home used for storage, which would be removed.

“I think that's great. It becomes a formal trailhead for the city,” said councilman Chris Putnam, who bikes the trail regularly. “If it works out the way we wanted to you could get more people to use it to start on the trail.”

Aaron Babcock with Hidell and Associates, the company the city contracted to create a concept for the park, said the restrooms are costly because the park sits in a 100-year flood plain. Any improvements must meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations. Permanent restrooms have to be raised several feet above the flood plain and include ADA-accessible ramps.

Council members also asked staff members to look at expanding the parking lot in a later project, with expectations that the additions would increase the park’s popularity.

Assistant City Manager Terry Leake said it’s too early to provide a completion date, but that the project should be underway next year. She said the plan still has to go through the Parks Board, Parkland Dedication Board and the Colleyville Economic Development Board for funding allocation before working on a final engineering design. Council will vote on approving a construction contract 30-45 days before the project breaks ground.