Powerful Solutions: Campbell Airstrip Road Upgrade and Trail Improvements

11.8.17

When a roadway corridor hasn’t been significantly improved since 1942, it understandably has some wear and tear. Campbell Airstrip Road was no exception; a portion of the roadway was crumbling, stormwater drainage was poor, sight distance was limited in places, and the pedestrians, and cyclists who used the road didn’t have a safe area to travel due to lack of shoulders and pathways.  The recently-constructed Campbell Airstrip Road project addressed these issues, and added much-needed trail access for the community.

 

Crumbling pavement, narrow shoulders, and poor sight distance hindered travelers on Campbell Airstrip Road. 
 

The project reconstructed the degraded roadway, widened shoulders to improve commuter and vehicle safety, and constructed drainage ditches to handle the stormwater. Due to a Federal Land Access Program Grant, those who live north of Tudor, Benny Benson students, and area residents and recreational users can now access Far North Bicentenial Park along a new, detached multi-modal pathway.

The project saved money by using roadway excavation to build up the pathway. It re-used existing excavated organics as topsoil to spread over the hillsides disturbed by construction. This avoided introducing invasive species present in new topsoil. Re-using the organic material also promotes faster re-growth, as the soil has its original microbes and seeds. The pathway’s alignment avoided unnecessary impacts to historic foxholes used during military exercises. Working with the State Historic Preservation Organization, a sign was installed along the pathway describing the area’s military history and the use of foxholes.

                 A reconstructed portion of Campbell Airstrip Road.
 

The design balanced keeping a vegetative buffer between the pathway and road so users wouldn’t feel too close to the vehicles, with staying close enough to the road so users would not feel isolated in the woods. A mushing tunnel was extended beneath the widened road and new pathway to provide continuous, separated mushing use in the expansive network of trails in the Park.

Many community members have applauded the improvements, stating that it makes them feel safer in - and out - of their cars.