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City's trail loop almost finished

Completion of final section is set for early 2011.

November 18, 2010|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

A set of small trail projects in La Cañada Flintridge is expected to make a big difference for users of the city's extensive trail network.

A new wilderness path now under construction between Verdugo Boulevard and Descanso Drive will, along with crossings planned for those streets, close the circle of a loop-trail system that extends for than 12 miles around Descanso Gardens, through Cherry Canyon, along Oak Grove Park and up toward the Angeles National Forest and back through town. Completion is set for early next year.

Negotiations are also underway to utilize Southern California Edison property along Indiana Avenue south of the Armstrong Gardens nursery, though trail users are able to use the streetway there.

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"This has been a 35-year dream," said Randy Strapazon, past president of the La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council. "There will soon be access to the trails network at any point in the city that has an entrance."

La Canada's soon-to-be-unbroken circular network of city- and county-maintained trails accommodates horses and bicyclists, as well as hikers.

The roughly 800-foot section of trail under construction between Verdugo and Descanso will include a foot bridge that spans a wide, rocky gully. Work on the bridge and pathway started in October and is due for completion on Jan. 11, said City Engineer Ying Kwan.

The cost of the city-funded project, mostly tied to bridge construction, is $154,450 — the lowest of seven public bids, said Kwan.

Street crossings are currently going out to bid and will be funded with grant assistance from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The push to complete a looped trail system "was envisioned by the city's residents even before its incorporation and appears in the city's first general plan in 1980. It was the intention of our founding parents to move forward and close the gap. It's just so exciting that we're finally near completion of the whole thing," said Senior Management Analyst Ann Wilson.

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