Longleaf Trace expands to downtown
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 01:10
Grab a bike or walking shoes and head down to the historic downtown area without giving up a prime parking spot in front of Century Park; the Longleaf Trace is expanding to downtown Hattiesburg.
The expansion, which is currently under construction, will make the Trace extend from the entrance of the University of Southern Mississippi to the train depot, eventually ending at Chain Park.
Kim Bradley, President of the Hattiesburg City Council, said the project is an effort to get more USM students downtown, as well as get people exercising on the Trace. He also believes the Trace expansion will be a safe and viable way to get people to explore and involve themselves in the fun things happening downtown.
Currently, almost all permissions to complete the project have been granted, and some asphalt for the Trace has already been poured.
Bradley said the majority of funding for the project is coming from “a lot of state money as well as some federal dollars.”
Many USM students already take advantage of Longleaf Trace, including senior biology major Anna Beth Williams, who often takes her bike out on the Trace to get some fresh air. Williams said she is excited for the expansion downtown.
“I like how you can take your bike there and get away from the business of school,” she said. “ I could definitely see my husband and I biking downtown to grab a bite for lunch.”
Though the date completion has not been set, once the Longleaf Trace project is finished, the whole thing will stretch 43 miles across Hattiesburg.
Bradley said he is most excited to get residents downtown.
“Downtown has continued to grow,” Bradley said. “People want to get downtown.”