kalamazoo river valley trail

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo has taken a decisive step toward building a non-motor path downtown.

On Monday commissioners approved construction contracts to extend the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. The new path would close the approximately one-mile gap between the KRVT’s east and west trailheads.

Matt Johnson / City of Kalamazoo

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail has an east side and a west side. What it lacks is a middle. The city says that’s going to change this year. It says it expects a KRVT connection to be “substantially complete" by the end of 2016.

If the city succeeds in closing the gap, it will break a streak of false starts for a downtown trail stretching back to the 1990s.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail could run through downtown as early as next year. That’s according to City Planner Rebekah Kik, who says it’s time to move after 15-plus years of talk about extending the KRVT. The city tested a route over four days last month, with a temporary “pop-up” trail.

Rebekah Kik / City of Kalamazoo

After years of discussion about how to connect the east and west sides of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, the city says it will try out a route in June.

City Planner Rebekah Kik says a temporary, "pop-up trail" will launch the morning of June 18 and stay in place through the weekend. The city will use cones, barriers and signs to direct foot and bike traffic through the pathway.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The Kalamazoo County Parks Department saw several projects advance in the last year.