Construction recently started for a new town trail connection between Cave Creek Town Hall and Spur Cross Road that will improve safety and connectivity for pedestrians and nonmotorized vehicles.
The trail will be constructed in phases and is expected to last approximately five weeks, causing lane closures on the southbound side of Cave Creek Road.
The first phase of construction is underway, starting near the intersection of Cave Creek and Spur Cross roads, and will end near 38044 N. Cave Creek Road. The construction will continue moving south, ending at town hall.
Bambi Muller, a planner and trails coordinator for Cave Creek, said this trail connection is a big milestone for the town because it will provide a way for pedestrians to walk into town core without having to drive.
“This trail connection is so important because parking has always been an issue. Now people can park here at town hall and walk into town,” Muller said.
The town’s trail system has been a passion project for Muller long before she became a part of the planning department. For almost three decades she has been working with property owners to provide easements for town trail connections.
“The goal is getting closer, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are sections that are missing, but we are getting closer,” Muller said.
She said Cave Creek’s trail system is unique because it not only connects the town to the regional trail system like Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, but it connects the neighborhoods to the retail shops and other local businesses.
In addition, Cave Creek’s trails must be safe for people and equestrians.
“Walkways have to service disabled and equestrians, and sidewalks are bad for horses and can be dangerous,” she said. “They have to dig a trough 4 to 6 inches and refill it with stabilized granite.”
Cave Creek Town Council approved the trail connection in October as part of its long-term plan to improve nonmotorized transportation into the town core area. The town’s trail system is also a part of the 2021 draft general plan that will be placed on the ballot for Cave Creek voters in May. It includes a map of proposed trails.
Cave Creek has about 30 miles of trails, but Muller said there is an official survey underway so they can get a better understanding where the town can best provide more connections to retail shops to alleviate parking issues.
“We are doing everything retrofit, so it is very difficult to get businesses to dedicate space for trails,” Muller said. She added the land needed to connect the town’s trails often takes away prime parking spaces that businesses need.
She said the goal is to eventually allow all residents to walk into town or to the surrounding county parks and trails while using connections from the town trail system.
“Eventually I want it to go down to Carefree Highway.”
For more information about the construction phases or lane closures, visit cavecreekaz.gov or call Bambi Muller at 480-488-6609.