July 23, 2007

The University of Houston is moving forward with plans to develop jogging trails across the campus community, starting with a $265,000 project.

“Work is scheduled to begin this week on a jogging trail that will run along the perimeter of the detention pond on University Drive east of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center,” said Darrell K. Bunch, senior project manager in the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction.

The trail will extend one-third of a mile and will include par-course fitness stations, such as pull-up bars, ground-level lights and drinking fountains. Additionally, UH plans to renovate and widen the sidewalk that dead ends at Texas Spur 5 and Wheeler Avenue and extend it to Calhoun Road. Live oak trees will be planted along the stretch of the sidewalk from Texas Spur 5 to Calhoun Road.

The project, which is included in the university’s master plan, is the first phase of UH’s effort to create jogging trails, primarily using campus sidewalks. The project is part of interim president John Rudley’s vision to make the campus more accessible to the community and to provide more student-friendly spaces.

“In the coming months, we hope to identify with a marking system the sidewalks that are going to be used as jogging trails and renovate those sidewalks, if needed,” Bunch said. “We also plan to create a perimeter jogging trail that loops 4.3 miles from Spur 5 to Elgin Boulevard to Scott Street to Wheeler Avenue and back to Spur 5.”

The jogging trails will dovetail into the extensive trail and bike system Harris County is constructing along Brays Bayou, west of the Texas Medical Center to the Houston Ship Channel.

Francine Parker