Capital Improvement Project: Scott’s Branch Trail Development

Phase I – Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to Scott Blvd/MKT

Funding Fiscal Year(s): 2009 – $100,000
2010 – $680,000
Project Number: C00422
Project Budget: $780,000
Funding Source(s): Park Sales Tax
Year Completed: 2013

Phase II – Scott Blvd. to Gillespie Bridge Road

Funding Fiscal Year(s): 2011 – $200,000
Project Number: C00461
Project Budget: $200,000
Funding Source(s): Park Sales Tax


Note: As a result of proposed revisions to trail route, costs are expected to be less than original proposed funding amount. The $590,000 appropriation for Phase II originally proposed in 2012 will be deferred or moved to another trail project.

Project Description (both phases): Acquire trail easements and construct needed trail portions from Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to Scott Blvd, making a connection to the MKT Trail. Trail route will also utilize existing and and planned sidewalks/pedways. Plans include adding lights in the Scott Blvd. tunnel Construction of a concrete connector from Scott’s Branch Trail to Fairview Park/School.

Items to be funded by both phases include:

  • Engineering/permits
  • 6′ wide concrete Fairview Elementary School connector
  • 8′ wide concrete trail – Rollins Road to Weaver Drive
  • 8′ wide concrete trail – Dublin Avenue/Park to Scott Blvd.
  • Bridge at Dublin Park
  • Connections at Scott Blvd/Chapel Hill underpass
  • Connections at Scott Blvd/MKT Trail
  • Connections at Chapel Hill/Gillespie Bridge
  • Bike Rack
  • Signage

Project Manager: Mike Snyder, Superintendent of Planning and Development, 573-874-7203, mike.snyder@como.govcreate new email

Council Items 

Interested Parties Meetings: Public meetings for Scott’s Branch Trail project were conducted in conjunction with the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary Development. In addition, Fourth Ward councilman Daryl Dudley conducted the following interested parties meetings:

  • June 8, 2011, 6-7:30pm, ARC
  • June 15, 2011, 6-7:30pm, ARC


Trail Route Descriptions:

  • Trail through Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary
    • 8 ft. wide concrete trail
    • Connects to Rollins Road pedway and parking lot
    • Connecting sections to Westport Drive and Fairview Elementary School
    • Connects to Weaver Drive stub.
  • Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to Dublin Avenue/Park
    • Utilizes Bray Avenue 4 ft. wide sidewalk
    • Utilizes Dublin Avenue 4 ft. wide sidewalk
    • Note: On Monday, July 18, Council will consider a proposed compromise that would allow the trail to be built on Audubon property thus eliminating the need to use sidewalks for this connection.
  • Dublin Avenue/Park to Scott Blvd.
    • 8 ft. wide concrete trail through acquired trail easements
  • Scott Blvd. (north of Chapel Hill Road) south to MKT Trail
    • Utilizes Scott Blvd. (east side) pedway (under construction – NOT funded by Scotts Branch Trail project) to MKT Trail
    • 6 ft. wide connection from Scott Blvd. to MKT Trail
  • Scott Blvd/Chapel Hill west to Gillespie Bridge Road
    • Use Scott Blvd. underpass to get to the west side of Scott Blvd. and travel west on Chapel Hill pedway.
    • Improve intersection of Gillespie Bridge/Chapel Hill Roads (funded by Scotts Branch Trail project) to facilitate a connection to the future Perche Creek Trail.

Project Status

Bridge, boardwalk, and trail construction completed from Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to Scott Blvd. Pourous paved lot at Fairview Park completed. Phase I project is completed. Lights have been installed in the Scott Blvd. tunnel.

5/9/2013 Update: What happened to the walnut trees along the proposed trail route?

A private property owner hired a contractor to remove the mature walnut trees from their property in the vicinity of the proposed Scott’s Branch Trail. The work included removal of the sellable timber that was within the 50′ trail easement and beyond, resulting in a large amount of tree-top debris, stumps and limbs that will need to be removed by park forestry staff before the trail construction can proceed. 

Although the tree removal was severe, there are still a lot of mature trees that remain (because they lack timber value) that will make the trail location feel natural.  Park staff will add trees over time, and nature has a way of healing natural areas. 

Park staff will hire a surveyor to re-stake the centerline of the easement and re-evaluate the proposed trail location within the easement to make every effort to save the remaining trees.  Prior to the walnut tree removal, the trail alignment was designed to avoid the walnut trees and even sacrifice other trees to save a mature walnut tree.  Now that the walnut trees as are gone, the route may be slightly adjusted as needed to take advantage of the existing open areas.  Park staff is limited by the 50′ easement, but will make every effort to work around the existing mature trees. 

There are about fifteen 8″ or smaller trees (Chinese elms and black locusts) that will need to be removed where the trail meets Scott Blvd.  The trail location is designed to meet up with the existing Scott Blvd. Pedway, and there is an existing fence row that the trail parallels.  The limitations of the adjacent creek and meeting up with the pedway dictates the trail location. 

Please see the photos below showing the tree removal that has occurred, debris left that will need to be removed, and the trees that remain.

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris

Scott's Branch Trail tree debris


The trail route will generally follow the tree road shown below

Scott's Branch Trail route

tree road


Project Photos

Fairview Connector under construction
(Photo taken 8-14-12)
Boardwalk construction
(Photo taken 10-15-12)
Completed section of the boardwalk and viewing platform
(Photo taken 10-15-12)
Scott’s Branch Trail in Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary
(Photo taken 10-24-12)
Fairview Connector
(Photo taken 10-24-12)
Boardwalk under construction
(Photo taken 2-19-13)

Previous Updates


July 26, 2012 update: Boardwalk steel and decking bids have been awarded. Grading work is underway on the trailhead parking lot at Fairview Park and for connecting walk to the school. Bridge soil testing is underway. Park crews have begun work on the boardwalk.

April 17, 2012 update: Boardwalk steel is out to bid. Agreement has been executed for bridge engineering services.

February 26, 2012 update: Completed topsoil grading work, seeding and straw for the Rollins Road to Weaver Drive trail section.

January 19, 2012 update: Completed trail construction from Weaver Drive to Rollins Road.

December 15, 2011 update: The Columbia Audubon society and the City have agreed to a trail alignment thru the Audubon property. Construction from Weaver Drive to Rollins Road is underway.

November 11, 2011 update: The City Council authorized the construction of the trail at the July 18, 2011 Council Meeting and directed staff to draft ordinances to acquire an easement from the Columbia Audubon Society (CAS). An agreement has been reached with the Audubon Society, and staff and Audubon representatives agree that the trail shall be constructed as an 8-ft concrete surface connecting to an elevated boardwalk that extends from Dublin Park into CAS property.  The acquisition cost for the 12-foot permanent trail easement is $18,000. The easement agreement will go through the City Council process. Adair Construction has been selected as the contractor. Trail construction will begin in Bonnie View park. It is anticipated that the trail section from Weaver Road to Rollins Road will be constructed this fall, weather permitting.

July 15, 2011 update: On Monday, July 18, City Council will conduct a public hearing on the final phase of the Scott’s Branch Trail and it appears that a compromise agreement with the Columbia Audubon Society may have been reached.  An Audubon board or committee has voted to endorse the compromise, but the Audubon membership has yet to vote. If the compromise is accepted, the Audubon Society would allow the trail to be built on their property with some stipulations as part of the compromise route. These stipulations include:  

  1. Trail to be ran along the southern portion of the property with no switchback. Audubon to have final approval of trail route.  P&R staff will construct a boardwalk so that the trail switchback can be avoided.

  2. No trees are to be removed or destroyed. Proposed route will not require the removal of any trees.

  3. Audubon may cross trail to build a parking lot. Park staff will work with Audubon on final parking lot design and grade elevation.

  4. 12-ft easement (8-ft trail with a two foot easement on each side). This is agreeable if the trail is concrete. A gravel traill will require a wider easement so that maintenance trucks and tractors may be able to haul rock after washouts and be able to turn around, avoiding a back in or out situation.

  5. Cunningham road easement is to be abandoned.

  6. No dogs on Audubon property.

Some neighbors may feel that the proposed trail route is too close to their property, but otherwise, park staff believes that these stipulations are acceptable. 

A detailed report, including Audubon’s proposed stipulations are posted on the department’s City Council Agenda Website.

July 1, 2011 update: An ordinance and resolution calling for a public hearing on the section of the Scott’s Branch Trail between Weaver Street and Dublin Park will be introduced during the July 5, 2011 City Council meeting. No action will be taken at this meeting as the introduction is used to officially schedule the final public hearing for Monday, July 18, 2011.   Following the public hearing, it is anticipated that Council will make a decision on the final route of this section of trail. For a copy of the draft ordinance, follow the Council Agenda link as noted above.

June 10, 2011 update: Park staff has begun architectural and engineering design on the bridge that will connect Dublin Park to the west side of Scott’s Branch Creek. Trail easements south of Dublin Avenue have been acquired as part of the Scott Blvd Improvement Project. Allstate Consultants have been hired to prepare a legal lot survey of the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary in order to conform to City of Columbia building regulations.

May 23, 2011 update: At the May 16, 2011 Council meeting, Councilperson Daryl Dudley made a motion to amend B72-11A by changing the wording so the Scott’s Branch Trail project could be constructed from Rollins Road to Weaver Road and from Dublin Park to the MKT Trail. He noted this would remove the portion from Weaver to Dublin Park. The motion was seconded by Ms. Hoppe. After discussion, the motion authorizing the construction of the Scott’s Branch Trail as amended, unanimously passed.

Previous update: After collecting public input for the Bonnie View/Fairview Park master plan, park planners have completed a revised proposed trail route for Scotts Branch Trail. A public hearing on the project was held at the March 21, 2011 Council Meeting. The Council decided to refer the project to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Commission and requested a report from the Parks and Recreation Department on an alternate route option. The requested report appears on the April 4, 2011 Council Agenda.

Major Vendors

** Vendor Item Purchase Order # Contract Amount
P Allstate Consultants Trail survey 090673 $7,005*
P Allstate Consutants Trail survey 112381 $5,000*
P Trabue, Hansen & Hinshaw Boardwalk engineering services 120664 $18,500
P Crockett Engineering Bridge engineering services 121632 $15,500
M Dry Fork Steel Boardwalk steel 121757 $117,320
M Becker Millwork Boardwalk decking lumber 122056 $34,352
P Terracon Consultants Bridge soil testing 122067 $3,650
C Boone Construction Company Bridge construction 131134 $64,969
  Audubon Society Permanent trail easement   $18,000
C Columbia Turf Backfill, see, and straw
trail (Rollins to Weaver)
121065 $6,498
M Soil Rentention Products Pourous pavers 130858 $22,950
C Tom Adair Construction Trai construction 91543 $79,908^

* Amount is portion of contract for this project; part of larger contract.
** C= Contract Work; P=Professional Services: M= Materials Only
^ As of 1/29/2013

Capital Improvement Program